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Russia’s culture minister doubts future cooperation with Dutch museums is possible

January 25, 2017, 18:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On December 2016, the Dutch court passed a ruling saying Crimea’s Scythian gold collection should be handed to Ukraine

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Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky "would take great care" not to lend Russian museums’ exhibits for displaying in the Netherlands, following the Dutch court’s ruling over the Scythian gold, he told reporters on Wednesday.

"In the wake of this ruling [over the Scythian gold - TASS], I would take great care not to loan anything within the Netherlands. Otherwise, they would regard it as a precedent. It does concern all museums, not just Russian or Ukrainian museums," Medinsky said.

The culture minister branded the Dutch court’s ruling as "political that has had no precedents before and has thrown us back to Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt."

"I am hopeful that the legal system and common sense will prevail over current political ambitions," he said in conclusion.

Legal dispute

On December 2016, the Dutch court passed a ruling saying Crimea’s Scythian gold collection should be handed to Ukraine.

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 between February and August 2014. The display in Amsterdam began when Crimea was still an autonomous republic within Ukraine. After the landmark referendum in Crimea on reunification with Russia, the collection turned up in an unprecedented legal situation. Both Crimean museums and Ukraine claimed their rights.

Since, 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 Scythian gold exhibits were lent by the Tavrida Central Museum, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Preserve, the Bakhchysarai History and Culture State Preserve and the Tauric Chersonesos National Preserve. The pieces provided for the exhibition by a Kiev museum, returned to Ukraine in September.

On January 18, Crimea’s museums informed the Amsterdam court of their intention to file an appeal against the ruling.

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