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Dutch court rules Crimean museums must provide reply on Scythian gold case by Sep 23

August 13, 2015, 13:57 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
The deadline was earlier set for August 12
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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

THE HAGUE, August 13. /TASS/. A Dutch court has extended until September 23 the deadline for Crimean museums to provide a written reply about the Scythian gold, the court’s press secretary told TASS on Thursday.

She reminded that the deadline was earlier set for August 12. "However, we did not receive any response from the museums by this date. We set a new deadline for a response on September 23," the press secretary said.

The Scythian gold exhibits were put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam as part of the "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea" exhibition in February 2014. About 2,000 exhibits were loaned by a museum in Kiev and four museums in Crimea, which was part of Ukraine at the time when 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 have returned home after the exhibition’s closure on August 31.

The problem emerged after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in the March 16 referendum. Both Russia and Ukraine have been claiming the right to the exhibits loaned by the Crimean museums. That is why the University of Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum suspended the artifacts’ handover until a legal solution was found to the dispute.

The Kiev-owned exhibits returned to Kiev in September 2014.

In November 2014, four Crimean museums (the Tavrida Central Museum, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve and the Khersones Tavrichesky National Reserve) filed a lawsuit to the University of 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.

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