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Crimean collection to remain in Netherlands so far

September 01, 2014, 17:14 UTC+3 1 1/9

The information that Ukrainian specialists from Ukraine’s National Historical Museum began dismantling the Scythian gold exhibition was not true

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THE HAGUE, September 01./ITAR-TASS/.The collection of Scythian gold from Crimea that was exhibited in the Allard Pierson Museum will remain in the Netherlands for the present, a spokesman for the Amsterdam university that was in charge of the exhibition told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

The information that Ukrainian specialists from Ukraine’s National Historical Museum began dismantling the Scythian gold exhibition was not true, he said.

Disputed exhibits will be kept in the museum until the issue is settled, he added.

At the same time, he said the exhibits the belonging of which was not disputed (Ukraine’s National Historical Museum in Kiev) might be really retuned to Ukraine. It was not a large part, he said.

Aside from the collection from the Ukrainian museum, valuable items from four Crimean museums were exhibited in the Netherlands.

The exhibition "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea was closed on August 31.

Ukrainian Deputy Culture Minister Svetlana Fomenko said last Friday that specialists from the Ukrainian National Historical Museum planned to begin dismantling the exhibition in the Netherlands on September 1.

She said the period to keep the exhibits in the museum expired on August 31, and Ukrainian museum specialists would be in Amsterdam on September 1 to pack and prepare the exhibits to send them to Ukraine. The collection, all the 2,111 items, was expected to be returned to Ukraine, she added.

The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam on August 20 decided to keep the Scythian gold in the Netherland for the time being.

Dutch museum sources said serious work was done to decide where to return the exhibits. The laws and international agreements were thoroughly studied, including the contracts, under which the ancient things found in Crimea were exhibited in the Netherlands. However, the museum failed to decide to which of the parties (Ukrainian or Crimean) to return the exhibits.

The Ukrainian deputy minister said the Culture Ministry did not agree on the position and would take all steps to return the valuable things to Ukraine.

Return of 19 main exhibits was already legally formalized, she said. These are the most valuable things, including a Scythian helmet and a sword.

“We plan to return the entire exhibition already in September,” she added.

If no consent is reached during the presence of Ukrainian museum specialists in the Netherlands, the fate of the exhibits will be decided through a court of arbitration. In case all the collections do not return to Ukraine in September, beginning October 1 the exhibits will be considered illegally brought from Ukraine, the Ukrainian official said.

The Ukrainian Culture Ministry said it concluded an agreement in 2013 to send more than 2,000 items from the Ukrainian state museum collection that were kept in the Tavrida, Kerch, Khersones and Bakhchisarai museums (Crimea) and the Ukrainian National Historical Museum to a museum in Bonn and the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam.

The exhibition showed unique finds from Crimean ancient Scythian settlements.

The Crimean museums insist on the return of the Scythian gold collection to them.

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