A meeting of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the case of "Scythian gold" will take place in the Netherlands today. Participating in the court session will be representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. This was announced by Minister of Justice of Ukraine Pavlo Petrenko in an interview with the Ukrinform news agency on the eve of the hearing.
Pavlo Petrenko noted that on February 15, Ukraine had submitted additional evidence, including an expert findings on the application of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, 1970, (hereinafter referred to as the UNESCO Convention) by Professor Francesco Francioni and an expert opinion on international public law matters that is of importance for the case, by Professor Nico Schreyer.
"The position of the state of Ukraine is based primarily on the norms of international law, in particular, the provisions of the UNESCO Convention and the provisions of Ukrainian law, which establish the right of ownership of the state to controversial art objects. The museum, which operates under the management the art objects that represent the national part of the Museum Fund of Ukraine, has no right to dispose of these art objects", the Minister emphasized.
Minister Pavlo Petrenko reminded that in the Kingdom of the Netherlands there are more than 565 art objects from the collection "Crimea. Golden Island in the Black Sea" from the Museum Fund of Ukraine. Mostly those are archaeological finds. The insurance cost of the collection is 10 million euros.
"Art objects kept by the Allard Pierson Museum in the Netherlands are to be returned to the territory of Ukraine and then handed over to the National Museum of History of Ukraine", said Pavlo Petrenko.
It’s worth mentioning that on 14 December 2016 Amsterdam District Court ruled that gold artifacts are to be returned to Ukraine. The main argument of the court is that only sovereign countries could claim objects as cultural heritage. The court ruled that the objects of the disputed museum collection are a cultural heritage that is illegally located in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The court ordered that gold artifacts belong to the state of Ukraine, which has the right to demand the return of a museum collection in line with the provisions of the UNESCO Convention.