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Diplomat: Cooperation between Russian, Dutch museums unaffected by Scythian gold dispute

February 10, 8:30 UTC+3 THE HAGUE

The collection of more than 2,000 Scythian gold exhibits has been kept by the Amsterdam University archaeological museum (the Allard Pierson Museum) for more than two years

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©  AP Photo/Peter Dejong

THE HAGUE, February 10. /TASS/. Cooperation between museums of Russia and the Netherlands continues developing despite the dispute over the Scythian gold collection, Russia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin said in an interview with TASS.

"Certainly, we hoped that the court would consider this case carefully and take into consideration all the circumstances, in particular, the fact that this collection has exact place of origin, namely Crimea," the diplomat said.

"The exhibits came there from Crimean museums and as usual for museum exchanges they should have been returned to the museums that had provided them. Unfortunately, the court took another decision," Shulgin said.

"Fortunately, this decision has not so far affected our museum exchanges," the diplomat said. Two days ago, an exhibition devoted to Russia’s last czar Nicholas II and his family opened in the Hermitage Amsterdam. "This event was very successful and drew crowds of people."

Speaking on the Scythian gold, Shulgin expressed hope that finally the situation will be solved in order to "satisfy all the sides."

The uncertainty over the Scythian gold collection, which was put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine, arose after the peninsula had reunited with Russia in March 2014. Both Russia and Ukraine claimed their rights to the exhibits.

The collection of more than 2,000 Scythian gold exhibits has been kept by the Amsterdam University archaeological museum (the Allard Pierson Museum) for more than two years. The Amsterdam University suspended the procedure of handing over the gold collection until the dispute was solved.

The Crimean museums have claimed their full right to the Scythian gold collection many times on the grounds that all the exhibits were found on Crimea’s territory and were stored in the peninsula’s museums.

In mid-December 2016, a district court of Amsterdam ruled that the collection of the Scythian gold must be returned to Kiev, and not to the Crimean museums. The Russian side said it would challenge this decision in court.

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