A Dutch appeals court ruled in favor of Ukraine in a long dispute over a historical collection of ancient treasures that was provoked by Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
The legal dispute began in 2014 when four Crimean museums tried to force the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam to return the gold.
Ukraine claims that the treasures, now held on deposit, are the property of the state.
The Amsterdam Court of Appeal agreed on Tuesday.
The museums, backed by Russia, could still take the case to the Supreme Court, so there is little chance that the Scythian gold collection will still be moved.
The Allard Pierson Museum said it was “pleased that a verdict has been reached and that another step has been taken towards the eventual completion of this case,” but stressed that it has no opinion on the appeals court ruling.
The “Crimea – Gold and Black Sea Secrets” exhibition was staged in Amsterdam in February 2014, the month when the pro-Moscow Ukrainian president was ousted and Russian-backed forces seized Crimea from Ukraine. A disputed referendum on annexation the following month was dismissed by the EU and the US as illegal.
The treasures were loaned from five museums, one in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and four in Crimea itself. They included a golden Scythian ceremonial helmet dating from the 4th century BC and other treasures from the time when the ancient Greeks colonized the Crimean peninsula.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the appeal court ruling: “We always buy back what is ours. After Scythia gold, we will return to Crimea,” he said on Twitter. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the gold “will be returning home to Ukraine”.
Russia has insisted that it is not part of the legal case, leaving the four museums to pursue their push for the return of treasures to the peninsula.
However, when the Amsterdam court claimed in 2016 that it based its decision on a 1970 Unesco treaty, the Moscow Ministry of Culture said the decision “grossly violates the principles of international exchanges between museums and the right of the people. of Crimea to have access to its own cultural heritage ”.
“This is a pure manifestation of double standards and contempt for the cultural heritage of the peoples of Crimea,” Andrei Malgin, head of the Tavrida Central Museum, told Tass news agency.
The appeals court said Tuesday that it based its decision on a 1995 Ukrainian museums law, which meant the entire collection was part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
As such, it was irrelevant which museum owned the pieces as the law was meant to protect pieces that fell out of the state’s sphere of influence.
- Conflict in Ukraine
Russia complains to UEFA over Ukraine’s shirts
- June 8
Putin’s new rail link in Crimea condemned by the EU
- 23 December 2019
Read More about World News here.
This Article is Sourced from BBC News. You can check the original article here: Source