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Amsterdam Court of Appeal to give verdict on Crimea’s Scythian gold case

The appeal is due in June 2019

THE HAGUE, March 12. /TASS/. The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has set June 11 as the date of the verdict on Crimea’s Scythian gold case, the court spokesperson Melissa Zijlstra informed TASS on Tuesday.

"The Amsterdam Court of Appeal is expected to give its judgment in the matter of the Crimean Treasures on Tuesday 11 June 2019," she said.

On Monday, a hearing of the case took place at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

Earlier on Monday, Crimea’s museums said in a joint statement that they had indisputable rights to the collection and there were only political reasons to hand the items over to Kiev.

"We are confident that our rights to the items sent for a temporary exhibition are indisputable. It is important not only for the museums but for all of the Crimean people as well, including cultural workers and researchers involved in work with the unique collections, to make sure that the items are not torn away from their history, context and collections for political reasons. There are no legal, cultural or historical reasons to hand these items over to Kiev," the statement reads.

Scythian gold issue

The Scythian gold collection from the Crimean museums was put on display at the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. However, after the peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014, an uncertainty over the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. In this regard, the University of Amsterdam suspended the handover until either the dispute is legally resolved or the parties come to terms.

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 the museums whose items are being kept in Amsterdam. Items provided for the exhibition by a Kiev museum, were returned to Ukraine in September 2014.

In December 2016, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that the Scythian gold treasures be returned to Ukraine. The Crimean museums filed an appeal against this decision, which was received by the court on March 28, 2017.