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Unearthed in Crimea, Scythian gold must be returned to Crimea — republican envoy

According to Georgy Muradov, the people in Crimea will never put up with the loss of their historical treasures

SIMFEROPOL, October 26. /TASS/. The Scythian gold collection, which the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ruled to hand over to Ukraine, should actually be returned to Crimea as these artifacts were unearthed in Crimea and were exhibited in Crimean museums afterward, Georgy Muradov, the republic’s envoy to the Russian president, told TASS on Tuesday.

"It is about the Crimean people’s right to its historical heritage, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions. We proceed from the fact that these items were unearthed in Crimea and placed with Crimean museums, so, they must be brought back to where they belong," he said.

According to Muradov, the people in Crimea will never put up with the loss of their historical treasures. "If the collection is handed over to Kiev, Crimean activists will demand it be immediately returned to Crimean museums. And they expect international organizations to support them on this matter," he noted.

Meanwhile, first deputy speaker of Crimea’s parliament, Yefim Fiks, said that the Scythian gold collection has nothing to do with Ukraine as it had been brought from Crimea, not from Ukraine. "It is very sad that the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, which positions itself as the most humane, fair and unbiased, has demonstrated obvious political bias and complete a lack of objectiveness," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the Scythian Gold collection should be handed over to Ukraine. The presiding judge, Pauline Hofmeijer-Rutten said the artifacts in question were part of Ukraine's cultural heritage and must be handed over to the Ukrainian side.

The Scythian Gold is a collection of more than 2,000 items that were put on display at an exhibition at the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. Uncertainty over the collection's future emerged when Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014. Crimea’s museums and Ukraine both laid claim to the collection. The University of Amsterdam, which oversees the Allard Pierson Museum's activities, put the handover procedure on hold until either the dispute was legally resolved or the parties came to terms.