On 9 June 2023, after almost nine years of litigation, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands fully satisfied the demands of Ukraine, represented by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, to return priceless museum exhibits from the exhibition “Crimea – a Golden Island in the Black Sea.”

Source: President of Ukraine

At the end of 2014, immediately after the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Russia launched a campaign to deprive Ukraine of its national cultural heritage by initiating a lawsuit in the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the help of fake “Crimean museums” demanding the transfer of the so-called Scythian gold collections, which had previously been on display at the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam, to the occupied Crimea.

The legal struggle lasted almost nine years in the courts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Russia spared no resources in its attempts to misappropriate Ukraine’s cultural property.

However, all three courts of the Netherlands, including the Supreme Court, rejected any claims of the “Crimean museums” to the “Scythian gold” and ruled in favour of Ukraine.

This is further evidence of Europe’s support for the territorial integrity of our country and the inadmissibility and groundlessness of the aggressor and its proxies’ encroachments on our cultural heritage.

“Ukraine expresses its gratitude to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for ensuring an impartial and objective judicial process and for its unwavering support for international law and justice. Our state is also sincerely grateful to all state bodies and institutions involved, the team of Dutch and Ukrainian lawyers, diplomats, and experts for their assistance and professionalism at all stages of this crucial case,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the decision of the Netherlands Supreme Court.

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