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Kiev insists on return of Scythian gold to Ukraine

August 21, 2014, 17:44 UTC+3 21 21/8
The Dutch side on August 20 decided to prolong the exhibition in the Allard Pierson Museum
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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

KIEV, August 21./ITAR-TASS/. Kiev insists on returning the Scythian gold to Ukraine from the Netherlands, where it is currently exhibited, parliament-appointed Ukrainian Culture Minister Yevgeny Nishchuk told reporters on Thursday.

"We insist that before the situation with Crimea becomes clear, the Scythian gold must be handed over to Kiev to keep it in the historical and art museums," he said.

The Dutch side on August 20 decided to prolong the exhibition in the Allard Pierson Museum, and the exhibits would not be handed over so far either to Ukraine or to Crimea, Nishchuk said.

Ukraine intended to sue the Russian side, Crimean authorities, to return the Scythian gold to Kiev, he added.

The exhibition "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea" was opened in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in February 2014 and will be closed on August 31. More than 550 items from one Kiev and four Crimean museums, including precious metal jewelry, arms and household ware, are displayed, acquainting with the peninsula's rich history. The question where to return the exhibits, to Crimea or Kiev, arose when Crimea joined Russia.

According to media reports, the museum in the Netherlands does not intend to hand over the exhibits to Ukraine or Crimea until a judge takes a decision or the parties come to an agreement.

The Russian Culture Ministry will not interfere in the situation over the Scythian gold, as all the issues must be settled by the museums, the Russian culture minister's advisor Kirill Rybak told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

"The ministry is watching the situation over the exhibition 'Crimea the Golden Island in the Black Sea'. We are monitoring the news," he said. "However, all the issues must be settled only on the inter-museum level."

There are museums that have sent exhibits, and there are museums that have received them. "They have definite agreements that, in our view, must be followed," the official said.

"As far as we know, there are no reasons for anxiety. Normal talks are going on," he added.

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