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THE HAGUE, March 9 /TASS/. The Amsterdam district court will hold a hearing on the Scythian gold case on October 5, the court’s Spokeswoman Fatima El Gueriri told TASS on Wednesday.
"The public hearings are scheduled for 9:30 local time [11:30 Moscow time] on October 5," she said adding that the date had been set with reservations (can be changed under certain circumstances — TASS).
The Amsterdam court had been waiting for the Ukrainian government’s reply due to be given by March 9.
"We have received a reaction from the Ukrainian authorities. We are now waiting for a written reply from the University of Amsterdam [to which the Allard Pierson Museum belongs], which we are supposed to get by April 20," the spokeswoman said.
The collection of Scythian gold, featuring 550 exhibits from five museums, one in Kiev and four in Crimea, was dispatched to the Netherlands in February 2014 to be exhibited at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. Later in 2014, when Crimea reunified with Russia, the museum decided not to return the gold to either Ukraine or Russia and urged an official investigation that would identify the owner.
The exhibits provided by the Kiev museum returned to Ukraine in September 2014.
In April 2014, the Amsterdam District Court recognized Ukraine to be a litigating party in the dispute because the Ukrainian state was claiming its rights to the disputable artifacts.
In November 2014, four Crimean museums, including the Tavrida Central Museum, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve and the Khersones Tavrichesky National Reserve, filed a combined lawsuit with Amsterdam's court seeking the Scythian gold’s return.
Crimea believes it has every right to claim the exhibits because they have been found in the peninsula’s territory and have been kept in its museums.