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Situation around Scythian gold from Crimean museums can be changed

February 02, 2017, 22:43 UTC+3

The museum community is tackling the problem, the Director General of Russia's State Hermitage Museums said

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© Vitaly Chugin/TASS

St PETERSBURG February 2. /TASS/. Situation around the transfer of Scythian gold from the Crimean museums to Ukraine at a decision of a court in the Netherlands can be reversed, believes Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Director General of the State Hermitage Museums in St. Petersburg.

The museum community is tackling the problem, he told a news conference on Thursday.

"The chances to change the situation do exist because appeals are still ahead," Dr. Piotrovsky said. "Frankly speaking, the situation is highly unpleasant because Ukraine has state ownership for works of art."

"There are options that could be used" so that the situation would change, he said. "The museum community is working on this and let’s wait and see what comes out of it."

On December 14, 2016, a circuit court in Amsterdam passed a decision on turning over to Ukraine a collection of Scythian gold consisting of more than 2,000 items and having an insured value of about $ 2 million. The items had been loaned by Crimean museums for an exhibition titled ‘Crimea. Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea’ that was held at the Allard Pierson Museum from February through August 2014.

The uncertainty around the status of the collection emerged after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, when both Crimean museums and Ukraine made claims to rights for the exhibits. In the wake of it, the University of Amsterdam, which the Allard Pierson Museum belongs to, suspended the handover of the collection until settlement of the legal problem on legal grounds or until the sides could reach an amicable solution.

The list of museums that have loaned their exhibits to Amsterdam includes the Central Tauride museum, the East-Crimean Historical and Cultural Preserve in Kerch, the Bakhchisarai historic and cultural preserve, and the Chersonessos of Tauride national preserve.

Exhibits loaned by a museum in Kiev were returned to Ukraine right after the exhibition.

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