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Scythian gold return should be referred to Dutch, Crimea museums — view

July 09, 2014, 18:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The exhibition ‘Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea’ is still on in the Netherlands, although it was to end on June 1
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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

MOSCOW, July 09. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation with the Scythian gold collection from Crimea currently hosted by a Dutch museum “must be settled at inter-museum not at interstate level,” Russian president’s envoy for international cultural cooperation told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam hosting an exhibition of Scythian gold from Crimea is at a loss where the exhibits will go to after it ends, as the exhibition opened in February when Crimea was still part of Ukraine.

The exhibition ‘Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea’ is still on in the Netherlands, although it was to end on June 1.

“We believe that as the situation is indeed thorny from the legal point of view, it is Dutch and Crimean museums that must maintain a dialogue,” Mikhail Shvydkoy said, noting that the dispute should not be “brought to the level of interstate relations”. Expressing confidence that “the problem will be settled,” he said “Although the issue of ownership arises, there is a general understanding among museums - exhibits must return there where they came from,” “regardless of any other collisions”.

Exhibits were brought to Amsterdam from museums of Crimea, but a no-nonsense fight is in progress now around what is referred to as Scythian gold, in view of the latest developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s accession to Russia. The question is - where will the exhibits go after the exhibition ends. The organizers have commitments both to the Ukrainian Culture Ministry and Crimean museums that are now on the Russian soil. Besides, the Netherlands has not officially recognized Crimea’s accession to Russia.

The exhibition is devoted to Crimea’s archeology, beginning with colonization of the peninsula by ancient Greeks in the 6th century B.C. The exhibits include, among other things, the finds made at the sites of ancient cities and villages, in the burial mounds of late Scythian period, and Gothic burial mounds.

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