Dzhaparova: Russia Using Scythian Gold Case as Part of Its Cognitive Warfare
On 11 March 2019, the First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova, took part in a hearing of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the lawsuit initiated by Ukraine against the Allard Pierson Museum, an archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam (Kingdom of Belgium), of the return to Ukraine of the items of the exhibition “Crimea, a Golden Island in the Black Sea,” or “The Scythian Gold.”
“This case is already becoming a textbook example of hybrid warfare, when democratic instruments are used for manipulation. For Russians, who control Crimean museums, the Scythian Gold case is a part of cognitive warfare. They go out of their way to exploit media resources and picture the victorious fighters for ‘their guys’ and for ‘justice.’ They realise the weakness of their legal position and opt for a different approach, where their ‘victory’ is measured not by the fact of the return of artefacts to Crimea but by the fact of holding up their return to Kyiv,” Ms Dzhaparova was quoted as saying.
The hearing was attended by Yevhen Nyshchuk, Minister of Culture of Ukraine; Serhii Petykhov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine; and Ukrainian museum workers and advisers.
The Scythian gold collection was removed from Crimea for an exhibition in Amsterdam before Russian occupation of Crimea.
On 14 December 2016, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that the Scythian gold treasures be returned to Ukraine. The ruling was based upon a UNESCO convention, under which objects of culture must be returned to the sovereign State that has provided them for temporary exhibition.
On 28 March 2017, the Crimean museums filed an appeal against the ruling of the Amsterdam District Court with the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.
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