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Future of Scythian gold exhibits from Crimea remains uncertain

January 17, 2015, 0:19 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
The court in Amsterdam has not yet decided when hearings on the case are going to be held
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THE HAGUE, January 16 /TASS/. The future of Scythian gold exhibits that were put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in August 2014 remains uncertain as the court in Amsterdam has not yet decided when hearings on the case are going to be held, a court source told TASS on Friday.

The exhibition titled “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” consisted of exhibits loaned by a museum in Kiev and four museums in Crimea, which was a region of Ukraine back at the time the items were consigned to the Netherlands. They included pieces of goldsmithery, weapons and household appliances revealing the rich history of the Crimean peninsula.

The collection of unique exhibits was supposed to return home after the exhibition. The Kiev-owned exhibits returned to Kiev in September 2014. But after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in the March 16 referendum, both the Russian and Ukrainian sides claimed their rights to the exhibits loaned by the Crimean museums. That is why the University of Amsterdam Allard Pierson Museum suspended the handover until a legal solution was found to the dispute.

In November 2014, four Crimean museums filed a lawsuit in Amsterdam demanding a return of the Scythian gold collection to Crimea.

The Crimean museums have stressed it many times that they have the right to claim the collection back because all the exhibits were found in the peninsula’s territory and stored in Crimean museums.

Tavrida’s Central Museum, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve and the Khersones Tavrichesky National Reserve loaned their exhibits for the exhibition in Amsterdam back in February 2014.

“We have really received a lawsuit from the Crimean museums to the University of Amsterdam with a demand to return the exhibits that were used for designing the exhibition at the Allard Pierson Museum,” the court said.

“January 21 is the final deadline when the institution of high learning should give a written reply to the claim,” the source went on to say. After that a judge will have to consider a reply to the claimant and decide whether a hearing should be held on the case or additional inquiries should be sent to the litigating parties.

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