SIMFEROPOL, February 19. /TASS/. Russia will continue efforts to return the Scythian gold collection back to Crimean museums from the Netherlands, Russian president’s culture adviser Vladimir Tolstoy said on Monday.
"Naturally, Russia will not cease its efforts to return the artefacts kept in the Netherlands back to Crimean museums. But it will take a lot of patience. It is a long and difficult path. We are keeping an eye on it," he said.
The Scythian gold collection, a collection of showpieces containing more than 2,000 objects with an estimated insurance value of about $2 mln, was put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. However, after Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014, an uncertainty over the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. In light of this, the University of Amsterdam has suspended the handover procedure until the dispute is legally settled or until the parties reach a peaceful agreement.
The Crimean museums claim their full right to the collection on the grounds that all the exhibits were found on Crimea’s territory and were stored in the peninsula’s museums. The Central Museum of Tavrida, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Preserve, the Bakhchysarai Historical and Cultural Preserve and the Chersonesus Historical and Cultural Preserve are among those museums whose items are currently kept in Amsterdam. Items provided for the exhibition by a Kiev museum, were returned to Ukraine in September 2016.
Amsterdam’s district court ruled in December 2016 that the Scythian gold should be returned to the Ukrainian side. That said, the court refused to decide on ownership, noting that this issue should be settled after the collection is returned to Ukraine. On March 28, 2017, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals received a petition from the Crimean museums to settle the Scythian gold dispute. Director of the Central Museum of Tavrida Andrey Malgin said in November 2017 the Amsterdam Court of Appeals may look into the petition in the winter or spring of 2018.