Four Museums in Legal Action for Return of Crimean Treasures

From the exhibition "The Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea"
From the exhibition "The Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea"
(Allard Pierson Museum photo)

Dutch News: A court case began in Amsterdam on Wednesday to determine the future of a collection of gold and other treasures from the Black Sea region. 

Four museums in Crimea are taking legal action to force the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam to hand back treasures loaned for an exhibition before Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian culture ministry claims the items are state property, while the museums, now under Russian control, want their pieces returned directly.

The court will rule on legal ownership. The Netherlands does not recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea.

The exhibition, entitled The Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea, was held in 2014. It included what the museum said are ‘spectacular archaeological finds’, including gold items, a scabbard and a ceremonial helmet, and countless precious gems. A museum statement said, "This exhibition casts new light on the Scythians, Goths and Huns, for centuries dismissed as little more than ‘barbarians’."

Judges set the date of December 14 for the ruling.

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