The collection of “Scythian gold”, previously stored in museums in Crimea, was returned to Ukraine after almost 10 years in the Netherlands. This was reported by the press service of the State Customs Service of Ukraine.
The collection, the weight of the exhibits of which is 2694 kg, was brought into the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. The jewelry will be kept in the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, located on the territory of the Lavra. In the near future, experts from the state customs service will identify the “Scythian gold” exhibits.
The return of the collection became possible thanks to the decisions of the Dutch courts, which ruled that the “Scythian gold” should not be returned to the annexed Crimea, but rather be transferred to the Ukrainian authorities.
The fact that the Supreme Court of the Netherlands approved earlier decisions of lower courts on the return of “Scythian gold” to Ukraine became known in the summer of this year.
All this time, the artifacts were kept in a museum in the Netherlands.
In October 2021, the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam decided to return “Scythian gold” from the museums of annexed Crimea to Ukraine. Thus, the court confirmed the previous decision of the District Administrative Court of the capital of the Netherlands dated December 14, 2016.
The exhibits of the exhibition “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” were located outside the peninsula during the annexation of Crimea by Russia and could not be returned to Crimean museums. Ukrainian authorities stated that the artifacts are the property of the state; the management of the museums – the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisarai Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Sevastopol National Reserve “Tauric Chersonese” and the Central Museum of Taurida in Simferopol – filed a claim for their return to Crimea.
In December 2016, the Amsterdam District Court decided to return the exhibits to Ukraine, but museum representatives filed an appeal against this decision.
The exhibition “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” included 584 items with an estimated value of about 1 million euros. It lasted until August 31, 2014, after which 19 exhibits from the Museum of Historical Treasures of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, including the famous golden helmet, golden sword and its scabbard, were returned. The remaining artifacts have become the subject of legal dispute.
In March 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. International organizations recognized the annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia’s actions; Western countries imposed economic sanctions against it. The Kremlin denies the annexation of the peninsula and calls it “restoration of historical justice.”