Amsterdam museum delays return of Scythian treasure


Culture of Ukraine

The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam has postponed the return of the exhibits of the exhibition – Crimea: Gold and Mystery of the Black Sea – to either Ukraine or Crimea), announced PR Director of the Museum , Marleen Smith (Interfax).

The transfer will take place only after a qualified judicial decision has been made, or when the parties reach a consensus, she said.

Smith explained that the affair related to “the Crimean gold” is unique, so simple decisions cannot be taken.

“Despite the fact that the museum conducted lengthy legal investigations in the past few months, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot agree with either one of the parties. Whatever is decided, one of the parties will not be satisfied.” she said. Smith added that the museum will take care of the exhibits until the court has pronounced a decision.

The Crimean museums have declared that they are ready to prove in court their right to the Scythian gold. However, the Dutch museum’s decision not to return the Scythian collections to Ukraine or Crimea actually plays into the hands of the Crimean authorities.

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine indicates that these items are recognized state property and insists that they be returned to Kyiv.

In February 2014, the collection of Scythian gold was taken to Amsterdam where it was presented at the exhibition – Crimea: Gold and Mystery of the Black Sea – in the Allard Pierson Museum. After the Crimean referendum and the annexation of Crimea to Russia, the Dutch refused to return the exhibits, stating that the museum had received the collections from Ukraine.

The exhibition presents collections from five museums, one of which is located in Kyiv and four in Crimea. The 500 exhibits include artifacts of Scythian gold, a ceremonial helmet, jewels, swords, armour and household utensils of the ancient Greeks and Scythians.


Source:, translated by Christine Chraibi


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