Ukrainian State Wins Ownership of "Crimean Gold"

news 11-Jun-2023 Europe

Ukrainian State Wins Ownership of "Crimean Gold"

A roughly 2000-year-old gold treasure from four museums in Crimea belongs to Ukraine, according to a judicial ruling. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands decided in The Hague that the precious cultural objects must be returned to Ukraine. This confirms a first-instance ruling from 2021 and ends the legal dispute after around seven years.

The cultural treasures of Crimea came to Amsterdam in 2014 and were displayed in the Allard Pierson Museum. The hundreds of objects included the "Scythian Gold," jewels, weapons, and masks.

Museums and Ukrainian State Claim Ownership

In the spring of 2014, Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula. After the end of the exhibition, the Amsterdam museum decided not to return the precious objects as it did not know who was now the rightful owner. Both the four museums, which are now under Russian administration, and Ukraine claimed ownership.

However, the courts ruled at all instances that Ukraine was the rightful owner. "The state of Ukraine has a legitimate interest in protecting its cultural heritage," the Supreme Court stated.

The "Crimean Gold" is being held at a secret location by the Amsterdam museum. The highlights include a 2400-year-old helmet of the Scythian horse-riding people, 2000-year-old Chinese lacquer boxes from the Han dynasty, delicate brooches, and a golden sword sheath.

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