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27 November 2023, 15:24

"Scythian gold" is at home. Treasures of Crimean museums returned to Ukraine after 10 years

"Scythian gold" is at home. Treasures of Crimean museums returned to Ukraine after 10 years
Crimean museum collections, one of which is known as "Scythian gold," have finally returned to their homeland. This was reported by the National Museum of History of Ukraine on Monday, November 27. It is about 565 items, including ancient sculptures and ceramics, 2000-year-old Chinese lacquer boxes, and Scythian and Sarmatian jewelry.
Some of the returned artifacts
Some of the returned artifacts
Cultural treasures from four museum institutions of Crimea - Simferopol's Central Museum of Tavrida, Sevastopol's Chersonesos Tavriya, Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve, and Kerch Historical and Archaeological Reserve - were displayed in Amsterdam during the annexation of the peninsula. The exhibition was entitled "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea" and was held at the Allard Pearson Archaeological Museum from February to August 2014.
Poster for the exhibition De Krim. Goud en geheimen van de Zwarte Zee exhibition
Poster for the exhibition De Krim. Goud en geheimen van de Zwarte Zee exhibition
The museum had to decide whether to return the items to the Ukrainian authorities or to the temporarily uncontrolled territory through a court of law. The process dragged on for almost a decade.
Read also: "Scythian gold" will return home: The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has made a final decision
All these years, Ukrainian diplomats, legal advisors, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy have been fighting for the return of Crimean treasures.

"The return of artifacts of special historical and cultural significance is a significant and multifaceted process. It combines legal, museum, diplomatic and logistical aspects," said Rostyslav Karandieiev, acting head of the Ministry.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ordered Ukraine to pay €111,689 with interest for the storage of the collections all this time. However, last week the Ministry reported that the Allard Pearson Museum would not collect this debt.

"This is a special case where cultural heritage has become a victim of geopolitical events," said Els van der Plas, the museum's director.
The returned exhibits will be stored at the National Museum of History of Ukraine until the de-occupation of Crimea. 

"For its part, the museum will make every effort to preserve them and to ensure that citizens and guests of Ukraine can see them. At the same time, as the collection has gained international political resonance, its condition and further fate will now be under the scrutiny of the world. This, in turn, places responsibility on all those behind the political decision to return the collection to war-torn Ukraine. They must provide it with unprecedented protection, as well as appropriate economic support for the National Museum of History of Ukraine," said NMU Director General Fedir Androshchuk.
Sources: parool.nl, nmiu.org, mcip.gov.ua
Cover photo: BEELD ANP / parool.nl

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