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Dutch court names Ukraine party in Scythian gold lawsuit

April 08, 2015, 13:30 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
The Netherlands’ appeal on becoming a party in the lawsuit was declined as the country is not directly involved in the dispute
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© AP Photo/FRANKA BRUNS

THE HAGUE, April 8. /TASS/. A Dutch court has named Ukraine a party in the Scythian gold lawsuit, a statement from Amsterdam’s district court said on Wednesday.

The court named Ukraine a party in the case "because the country claims rights for disputed objects." The Netherlands’ appeal on becoming a party in the lawsuit was declined as the country is not directly involved in the dispute, the court said.

The Scythian gold exhibits were put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam as part of the "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea" exhibition in February 2014. About 2,000 exhibits were loaned by a museum in Kiev and four museums in Crimea, which was part of Ukraine at the time when the items were consigned to the Netherlands. They included pieces of goldsmithery, weapons and household appliances revealing the rich history of the Crimean peninsula.

The collection of unique exhibits was supposed to have returned home after the exhibition’s closure on August 31.

The problem emerged after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in the March 16 referendum. Both Russia and Ukraine have been claiming the right to the exhibits loaned by the Crimean museums. That is why the University of Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum suspended the artifacts’ handover until a legal solution was found to the dispute.

The Kiev-owned exhibits returned to Kiev in September 2014.

In November 2014, four Crimean museums (the Tavrida Central Museum, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve and the Khersones Tavrichesky National Reserve) filed a lawsuit to the University of Amsterdam demanding a return of the Scythian gold collection to Crimea.

January 21 was the final date when the University of Amsterdam was supposed to give a written reply to the claimant and decide whether a court hearing should be held on the case or additional inquiries should be sent to the litigating parties.

The Crimean museums have stressed it many times that they have the right to claim the collection back because all the exhibits were found in the peninsula’s territory and stored in Crimean museums.

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