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Amsterdam court receives Ukraine’s statement on Scythian gold

July 02, 2015, 16:57 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
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
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© EPA/BART MAAT

THE HAGUE, July 2. /TASS/. Amsterdam’s district court has received an official statement from Ukraine on Scythian gold, a court’s spokesperson told TASS on Thursday.

"We received a written statement from the Ukrainian side on this matte, and now Crimean museums and the University of Amsterdam have to provide their responses by August 12," the spokesperson said.

"The matter is still at the stage of correspondence between the sides. No court hearings are planned in the nearest future," she added.

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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