Russian envoy emphasizes need to challenge Scythian gold case in Dutch Supreme Court

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According to Mikhail Shvydkoy, the hearing was held in "a politically-charged, anti-Russian atmosphere", and this climate influenced the outcome

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The decision by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal to hand over the Scythian gold collection to Ukraine which belongs to Crimean museums, was made in a politically-charged atmosphere and it must be challenged in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy told TASS on Wednesday.

On October 26, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the collection of Scythian gold must be handed over to Ukraine. According to the ruling, these objects are “part of the cultural heritage of Ukraine” and “must be handed over to the Ukrainian side.”

“Yesterday’s decision was issued by a Dutch district court. That’s why we have the opportunity to file an appeal with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, since it is necessary to go through all the courts in such cases. It’s clear that here injustice has prevailed,” Shvydkoy specified.

According to him, the hearing was held in “a politically-charged, anti-Russian atmosphere”, and this climate influenced the outcome.

“From my point of view, this controversy is of an inter-museum nature. If the items were taken from one of the museums, they should be returned there, that’s what the agreement says, but it’s just a formality. Furthermore, the Dutch themselves recognized at the time that there was no legal provision in Dutch legislation that could describe the situation which has unfolded with the Scythian gold,” Shvydkoy added.

The Scythian Gold collection of over 2,000 items was on display at the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam between February and August 2014. After the peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014, uncertainty over the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. In this regard, the University of Amsterdam suspended the collection’s handover until either the dispute is legally resolved or the parties come to terms.

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