Museums Netherlands

Dutch museum holds on to disputed Crimean gold for time being

Ukraine and Russia claim Scythian artefacts

The Amsterdam museum in possession of Crimean gold artefacts announced yesterday, 20 August, that for the time being it will keep the objects, which form part of a touring exhibition.

Since the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March, the Allard Pierson Museum has been wrestling with the problem of where to return the objects, which are claimed by Ukraine and Russia. The Scythian gold artefacts were originally lent by museums in the Crimea and Kiev for the exhibition “The Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea”.

Now that the exhibition is closing, the institution released a statement on its website saying: “The Allard Pierson Museum will abide by a ruling by a qualified judge or arbitrator, or further agreement between parties. The disputed objects will be safely stored until more becomes clear.”

Update: Russia's culture ministry released a statement on 21 August about the collection. It called the Dutch museum's decision "understandable" but stressed that the objects are "part of the inalienable cultural heritage of the Crimean peninsula" and that "museums must remain outside of politics".

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