Netherlands Supreme Court orders handover of disputed Scythian gold artifacts to Ukraine
Baku, June 9, AZERTAC
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has rejected a cassation appeal filed by Crimea-based museums, ordering that Scythian gold artifacts from their collections on loan to a Dutch museum be transferred to Ukraine, according to the court ruling released on Friday, according to TASS.
"The Amsterdam Appellate Court ruled in October 2021 that the collection [of Crimean gold] should be transferred to the Ukrainian state," the document said. "The Supreme Court rejects the appeal on cassation of the Crimean museums, and hereby upholds the [lower] court's ruling."
The Dutch Supreme Court’s verdict brings the litigation to an end. "The Allard Pearson Museum [of the University of Amsterdam] must hand over the art treasures to the Ukrainian state and not to the Crimean museums," the court ruled.
In their cassation appeal, the Crimean museums had argued, in particular, that the appellate court's decision violated the first protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights. In late January, Paul Vlas, advocate general of the Dutch Supreme Court, issued his advisory opinion, arguing that the Scythian gold should be turned over to Ukraine and that the appellate court's ruling was based on a valid body of national law and served a legitimate public interest.
The Scythian Gold collection, consisting of over 2,000 items, was on display at the University of Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum between February and August 2014. After the peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014, uncertainty over custody of the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. Given this, the University of Amsterdam suspended the return of the artifacts until either the dispute was legally resolved or the parties came to terms. In late October 2021, the Amsterdam Appellate Court ruled that the Scythian gold collection should be handed over to Ukraine. In January 2022, Russia appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.