According to Tolstoy, the decision to hand over the Scythian gold to Ukraine can be compared with a situation when an elephant was let into a shop with expensive china
MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. UNESCO’s reaction to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s ruling on the return of the Scythian gold to Ukraine can be interpreted as the recognition of its impotence in this situation, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, or lower parliament house, said on Wednesday.
“The Scythian gold saga in quite demonstrative: UNESCO has hidden cowardly behind diplomatic wordings and thus it recognized its impotence,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.
According to Tolstoy, the decision to hand over the Scythian gold to Ukraine can be compared with a situation when “an elephant was let into a shop with expensive china.” “They are trying to take unique historical artifacts away from the country, which has saved Palmyra, moreover, they are trying to take them away from Crimea, the legal owner, and hand them over to an under-state, whose national hobby is to ruin historical heritage and sell out everything that can be sold,” he noted.
He noted that UNESCO’s reaction to the situation demonstrates that the organizations “is worrying more about its own budget than about education and culture.” “It looks like there is no organization in the world that is beyond politics,” the Russian senior lawmaker added.
Earlier on Wednesday, UNESCO refrained from comments on the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruling to hand over the Scythian gold collection to Kiev. Its press service said that the organization cannot assess judicial processes in its member nations.
On Tuesday, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the Scythian Gold collection should be handed over to Ukraine. The presiding judge, Pauline Hofmeijer-Rutten said the artifacts in question were part of Ukraine's cultural heritage and must be handed over to the Ukrainian side. Russia said it would file a cassation appeal.
Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would thoroughly analyze litigation perspectives and would take steps to continue this process.
The exhibition ‘Crimea – Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea’ consisting of over 2,000 exhibits from the Scythian Gold collection went 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.
In December 2016, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that the Scythian gold be returned to Ukraine based on Dutch laws and international regulations. In March 2017, Crimea’s museums launched an appeal to fight the decision. In March 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal reversed the district court’s ruling but did not determine the collection’s ownership.