June 3, 2023

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Dutch court orders repatriation of Crimean artifacts to Ukraine

In the Netherlands, on Tuesday, October 26, a judge ordered the repatriation of a collection of archeological treasures lent by the Crimea to a museum in Amsterdam. Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014. “The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ordered the handing over of the Alert Pearson Museum to the Ukrainian government. Crimean treasures, The judges decided.

“Although the museum pieces originate from the Crimea, in this regard, it is considered part of the heritage of the Crimea, but part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian state, because it has been an independent state since 1991.”, The court ruled.

He was immediately welcomed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky “Long-awaited success”. I tell myself On Twitter “Thank you” For this “Reasonable decision”, Mr. Zelensky said that Ukraine “Always take back what belongs to him”. “After” Scythian GoldLet’s reclaim Crimea ”, He promised.

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On the other hand, the museums of the Crimea “Very sad”, Rob Meijer, their lawyer commented. These treasures “Never owns museums in Kiev” And “They should be sent back” He told reporters in the Crimea. Russian senators Vladimir Zafarov and Andrei Klishas also apologized for the verdict, warning that Russia would not allow it. “Without answer” This “Unilateral decision”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, declined to comment officially on the verdict, although he did point to Russian authorities in September. “Like[aient] Of course [la] Let the collection come back to his home ”.

The museum is stuck “between a rock and a hard place”

In November 2014, four museums in the Crimea filed a lawsuit to force the University of Amsterdam’s Archaeological Museum to return works borrowed for the exhibition “The Crimea: Secrets of Gold and the Black Sea”. In 2016, a A Dutch court has ruled that the artifacts should be returned to UkraineExplains that Crimea is not considered an autonomous state.

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Crimean museums appealed against the ruling, arguing that the gold belonged to the region. In 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal insisted that more time was needed to rule. As for the treasures, they meanwhile, a “Safe place” By the Alert Pearson Museum. The collection of rich objects from the second century AD to the beginning of the Middle Ages was borrowed from the museum less than a month after Russia annexed Crimea, following military intervention and a referendum on what Kiev and Kiev considered illegal. West.

Photo taken in April 2014
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Torn between Ukraine and Crimea, both items returned, taken from the Alert Pearson Museum “Between the Devil and the Deep Sea”, Was assessed by a Dutch court in 2016. Its verdict angered Moscow and pleased then-Ukrainian President Pedro Poroshenko. According to him, this decision indicates that “Scythian gold is not only Ukrainian, Crimea is also Ukrainian”.

According to Ukraine, “Russian falsifications and manipulations”

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal must therefore decide. Since the case does not appear to be covered by Dutch or European law, nor is it linked to a UNESCO-defined world heritage, it is now subject to this jurisdiction. “Decide who has strong rights”. Andre Malkin, director of the Taurida Museum in Simferopol, one of the four companies in the Crimea, who initiated the legal action, meanwhile charged the Dutch judge. “Hang out” A test.

“We don’t just collect museum pieces”, But “Monuments testifying to our millennial history”, For his part on Tuesday, in a video, commented the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmitro Kuleba. During the trial, “All Russian Falsifications and Manipulations” As a result “Failure”, He concluded.

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World with AFP