The return of Scythian Gold to Ukraine has a long history. In 2013, a collection of Ukrainian archaeological heritage called “Crimea. The Golden Peninsula” was assembled and temporarily transferred to European museums for display. This collection is now called Scythian Gold, as it consists mainly of cultural artefacts from the Scythian period. Also, most of the exhibits in this collection came from Crimean museums.
The collection was exhibited in Germany and then in the Netherlands, where it was at the time of the russian occupation of Crimea. After that, the struggle for Ukrainian cultural heritage began. Indeed, the russian authorities were taking cultural artefacts from Crimea to russian museums.
Rostyslav Karandieiev, the acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, said this in an interview with Ukrinform.
“The collection will return to Ukraine in the near future. I cannot talk about the details for security reasons. The transportation and return of valuables of this magnitude is a political act. From a cultural and historical perspective, this is our significant victory in the recognition by European courts of Ukraine’s right to own Ukrainian cultural property. This is a precedent,” he said.
The acting Minister also said that Ukraine was planning to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property in the near future.
As a reminder, after almost nine years of litigation, on 9 June 2023 the Supreme Court of the Netherlands fully satisfied the claims of the State of Ukraine and ordered the Allard Pierson Museum to transfer museum exhibits from the exhibition “Crimea – a Golden Island in the Black Sea” to the National Museum of History of Ukraine.