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Dutch court to consider Crimean museums’ appeal over Scythian gold in April

The appeal is at the stage of consideration by the second instance, the Republic of Crimea's Culture Ministry’s press service said

SIMFEROPOL, March 23. /TASS/. Authorities in the Republic of Crimea believe the court in Amsterdam will hear an appeal by the Crimean museum over the fate of a collection of Scythian gold artefacts in April, the press service of the republican Ministry of Culture told TASS on Friday.

At the end of last December, Ukrainian Culture Minister Yevgeny Nishchuk told reporters the court in Amsterdam would begin considering the appeal in February 2018 but Crimean museums indicated the hearings would begin in spring.

"The appeal is at the stage of consideration by the second instance of the court and the first session has been scheduled for April," a spokesman for the Culture Ministry’s press service told TASS.

The artefacts of Scythian culture found during archeological excavations in Crimea in different decades in the past were loaned by Crimean museums for the exhibition ‘Crimea - Gold and Mysteries of the Black Sea’ that was held from February through August 2014 in the Allard Pierson Museum, an affiliation of Amsterdam University.

The duplicity of the situation around the collection emerged after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, with both the Crimean museums and the Ukrainian government claiming their rights to the artefacts. The latter said the collection had formally come to the Netherlands from the territory of Ukraine.

In the wake of the dispute, Amsterdam University suspended the return of the collection until the parties to the dispute reach agreement on the status of the exhibits.

On December 14, 2016, a circuit court in Amsterdam passed a resolution on returning the Scythian gold to Ukraine. The Crimean museums that loaned the artefacts for the display filed an appeal.

At the decision of the court, Ukraine is expected to pay €111,000 to the Allard Pierson Museum for the safekeeping of the artefacts. Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko said Kiev would remit the monies after the court’s final ruling.