Dzhaparova: Russia Seeking to Put Off Scythian Gold Return to Ukraine As Much As Possible
On 15 March 2019, a press conference titled “The Scythian Gold Case. How Ukraine Asserts Its Cultural Values” was held at the press centre of Ukrinform news agency.
The First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova, said at the event that Russia’s position in the case was a test of its policy of looting towards Ukraine.
“For Russia, it is part of cognitive warfare, the war of narratives. It is important to them that they show their citizens that they are fighting for the artefacts to the last ditch. But it is necessary to understand that their goal is not returning the ‘Scythian gold’ to Crimea, for their legal position is weak. They are merely trying to put off the return of artefacts to Kyiv as much as possible,” Ms Dzhaparova was quoted as saying.
The Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Yevhen Nyshchuk, stressed that Ukraine would fight to a finish and is not intent on conceding.
“We dare not presume when the collection will be returned to Ukraine; the fact is we are adamant in our firm position that the exhibits are an invaluable legacy of the Ukrainian State and a feather in our cap,” Mr Nyshchuk stressed.
Other speakers at the press conference included Svitlana Fomenko, First Deputy Minister of Culture, and Serhii Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice.
On 11 March 2019, a hearing of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal took place 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.”
The Court of Appeal is to deliver its judgement in the case on 11 June 2019.
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.
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