Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled to return “Scythian gold” to Ukraine

Cultural heritage

On June 9, 2023, the decision of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (The Hague) regarding the return of the museum exhibits from the “Crimea. Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” exhibition to the state of

After nearly 10 years of legal proceedings, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands has fully rejected the cassation appeal of the Crimean museums and upheld the decision of the appeal court, which granted Ukraine’s claims. The Supreme Court has determined that the state of Ukraine has a legitimate interest in protecting its cultural heritage.

Thus, the Supreme Court’s decision puts an end to this dispute. The Allard Pierson Museum is obliged to transfer the museum exhibits from the exhibition “Crimea. Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine.

It is important to mention that on January 26, 2022, russian museums in the temporarily occupied Crimea filed a cassation appeal against the decision of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s dated October 26, 2021 regarding the return of the “Scythian gold” collection to Ukraine.

Since 2014, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with the Dutch law firm Bergh Stoop & Sanders and the Ukrainian bar association “Sergii Koziakov and Partners” have been actively involved in the efforts to return the exhibits to Ukraine.

The exhibition was held at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam, where the exhibits were kept during the legal proceedings. These museum exhibits originate from four Crimean museums, namely 132 exhibits from the Central Museum of Tavrida collection, 190 exhibits from the Kerch History and Culture Reserve, 28 exhibits from the National Preserve “Tauric Chersonesos” and 215 exhibits from the Bakhchisarai Historical and Cultural Reserve.

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