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Scythian artifacts from occupied Crimea returned to Ukraine from Netherlands

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 27, 2023 1:46 PM 1 min read
Scythian artifacts. (National Museum of the History of Ukraine)
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Ancient Scythian artifacts from Crimea were returned to Ukraine after being kept for almost 10 years in the Netherlands, the National Museum of the History of Ukraine announced on Nov. 27.

Ukraine's Customs Service brought the 2,694 kilograms of artifacts to be identified at the Treasury of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine on the territory of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

The Scythian treasures will be kept in the National Museum of the History of Ukraine until the liberation of Crimea.

The artifacts were on loan to the Allard Pierson Museum of Antiquities in Amsterdam when Russia illegally seized Crimea in 2014, and both Ukraine and museums in the now-occupied peninsula claimed them once the exhibition in Amsterdam ended.

As the museum awaited a final legal decision on what to do with the artifacts, it kept them in storage.

A long legal battle followed, with Dutch courts ruling several times that the artifacts should return to Ukraine. The Dutch Supreme Court concurred, ruling in June 2023 that they should be returned to Kyiv.

Ukraine's acting Culture Minister Rostyslav Karandieiev signed an agreement with Dr. Fred Virmen, acting director of the University Library of the University of Amsterdam, in November to finalize the return of the artifacts.


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