Portion of Disputed Gold Collection Returned to Kiev

The Scythian Gold Pectoral from Tovsta Mohyla Photo: craftycristian.com

Nineteen pieces of gold lent to Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum have been returned to Kiev. However, the fate of the vast majority of the collection of scythian gold lent by Ukrainian museums to the Dutch institution remains unclear, The Art Newspaper reports.

“The Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” went on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in February when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. The Dutch museum was lent 565 pieces from four Crimean museums and 19 pieces from a Kiev museum for the exhibition.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, the Crimean museums, which are now under Russian jurisdiction, and the Ukrainian government have both claimed ownership of the gold. Larisa Sedikova, deputy director of the Museum of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos in Sevastopol told Itar Tass “It is only natural and logical and in full compliance with a contract signed between museums that all the exhibits from museum funds should return home after the exhibition is over.”

On the other hand, Kiev insists that all the gold should return to Ukraine after the exhibition in Amsterdam is over. Serhiy Chaykovsky, director of the National Historical museum of Ukraine explained in a TV interview last week that “our museum has been chosen as the one to which these pieces should return and we will become their owners” referring to the Ukrainian culture ministry’s recent decision. He continued “we might then display these items until Crimea is liberated from occupation.”

Meanwhile the Allard Pierson Museum said in a statement that it will keep the exhibits in Amsterdam until the dispute is settled. The museum agreed to “abide by a ruling by a qualified judge or arbitrator, or further agreement between the parties.”


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