Exclusive interview with the representative of Ukraine's Museum of History about the Amsterdam court's ruling
UT visited the National History Museum of Ukraine where the Scythian treasures should be returned to and talked to Olena Onogda, a scientific secretary of that Museum, about when Kyiv should expect the showpieces back.
On December 14, a district court of Amsterdam ruled to return the collection of Scythian gold to the sovereign state of Ukraine but not Crimea where it was taken from back in 2014. Russia on behalf of Crimean museums has already claimed it will appeal the decision. There are 3 months in which to do so but the claim was just a statement, not turned into action yet.
Watch also BREAKING: Scythian gold returns to Ukraine
"There are two main points about the position of Crimean museums. The first one is connected to the fact that museum collections are not to be divided. They appeal to museum ethics. And the second part is about agreements because they were signed between the museums in the Netherlands and Crimea", Olena Onogda explains what stance was advocated by the Crimean party.
And adds that even though the deal was made among the museums themselves, all the movement of cultural showpieces outside the country can be allowed only after the authorization of Ukraine's Culture Ministry. That was the main point of the Ukrainian party's position in the court.
The Allard Pierson museum which borrowed the exposition items in 2014 was holding an exhibit of almost 600 unique artifacts, namely, gold items, a scabbard and a ceremonial helmet plus countless precious gems. When the exhibit was over, the Amsterdam museum was hesitant where to return the items to - and referred to a court to find a solution to the collision. The decision was made in the favor of Ukraine reasoning it with the provisions of UNESCO convention of 1970.
"The decision was based on international laws and especially on UNESCO convention of 1970 which says that the property of a sovereign state is its own. And until Crimea is deoccupied by Russia, museum treasures are to belong to the sovereign country of Ukraine", Olena Onogda clarifies the ruling.