The Netherlands museum has decided to transfer Crimean artifacts to Kyiv following a legal battle between Russia and Ukraine.
The museum in Amsterdam announced on Monday that historical artifacts, which were the subject of a dispute over ownership due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, have been successfully transferred to Ukraine after being stored there for several years.
Their transportation marks the resolution of a nearly ten-year legal dispute over the treasures, which include a Scythian helmet made of solid gold from the 4th century B.C. and a heavy golden neck piece from the 2nd century A.D. weighing over one kilogram (equivalent to two pounds).
According to a statement from Els van der Plas, director of the Allard Pierson historical museum, this was a unique situation where cultural heritage was impacted by geopolitical events.
The exhibition, held a month prior to the Russian annexation in 2014, featured 300 artifacts from four museums in Crimea.
The Ukrainian government in Kyiv and the four Crimean museums, which had loaned bronze swords, golden helmets, precious gems, and other artifacts to the Allard Pierson, both requested the return of the objects.
The Dutch Supreme Court declared in June that the museum must give back the treasures to Ukraine instead of the four museums they were originally borrowed from for the exhibition “Crimea — Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea,” following a chain of rulings from lower courts.
The judges pointed out that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia, lacks recognition on a national level.
The Supreme Court has ruled that even though the museum pieces are from Crimea and can be considered as part of Crimean heritage, they should still be recognized as part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
Van der Plas expressed satisfaction that there is now clarity and that they have been returned.
The spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, restated Russia’s belief that the collection should be given back to Crimea.
Peskov stated to journalists that it is the property of Crimea and should remain there.