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Compensation for storing Scythian gold insufficient — university

December 16, 2016, 23:39 UTC+3 THE HAGUE

The Dutch court passed a resolution on Wednesday saying the collection should be handed to Ukraine

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THE HAGUE, December 16. /TASS/. Compensation appointed by the court for storing the collection of Scythian gold items loaned by Crimean museums and stranded at Amsterdam University’s Allard Pierson Museum does not cover all the expenses the museum has incurred in wake of the situation around the antique artifacts, Yasha Lange, the official spokesman for the university told TASS on Friday.

On December 14, the Dutch court passed a resolution, in line with which the collection of Scythian artifacts that the Allard Pierson Museum displayed at the beginning of 2014, constituted a part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage and was to be handed over to the country’s authorities.

Along with it, the court ruled that the Kiev government should pay out 111,000 euro to the museum for safekeeping the exhibits.

"We are satisfied with the fact that at least part of the costs that we have paid will be reimbursed," Yasha Lange said. "But it does not cover all the costs, it covers part of the costs that we have paid."

As for the ruling as such, he said Amsterdam University did not have any official position.

"You have to understand that the museum has always maintained the neutral position," Lange said. "We have said from the very beginning that we were confronted with two claims. One claim from the museums from Crimea, one claim from the State of Ukraine, and we have said that we will abide by any decision the court takes in this matter."

"So, my own reaction is that we are happy that this process is one step further, he said. "We are satisfied with that. But we do not have an opinion on the ruling per se."

Along with it, Lange did not rule out the Crimean museums might file an appeal

"I think this is very likely. If I’m not mistaken they have already announced this," he said. "For sure, it will not surprise us. It is very possible. They have three months’ time for this."

Four Crimean museums loaned the exhibits for the ‘Crimea: Gold and Secrets From the Black Sea’ exhibition at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn and then at Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum in 2013. The display in Amsterdam began in February 2014 when Crimea was still an autonomous republic within Ukraine. The exhibition wrapped up on May 31, 2014, a month and a half after the landmark referendum in Crimea on reunification with Russia and acceptance of the region’s transfer by Russian authorities.

Since the collection turned up in an unprecedented legal situation, the Dutch said they would seek to untangle the dilemma through a court action. Their line of reasoning suggested that whomever the exhibits would return to, the other side would definitely find the decision unacceptable.

The Dutch organizers indicated that if the gold returned to Crimea, it was Ukraine that would file an international lawsuit and if it went to Kiev, the Crimean museums that had been persuaded by the Europeans to loan the items from their collections would launch numerous judiciary actions.

The presiding judge told hearings in an Amsterdam circuit court on October 5, 2016, a ruling on the destiny of Scythian gold would be made on December 14.

On Wednesday this week, the Dutch court passed a resolution saying the collection should be handed to Ukraine. The judges said only sovereign countries could make claims to objects of cultural heritage.

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