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Crimean treasures should return to Ukraine says Dutch court

A priceless collection of gold artefacts from Crimea, on show in the Netherlands when Crimea was occupied by Russia in 2014, must return to Ukraine says court ijn Amsterdam.

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Crimean treasures should return to Ukraine says Dutch court

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Treasures from the Crimean peninsular dating back to the 4th century BC currently being held by Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson museum must return to Kyiv.

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"We have no access to Crimea, we cannot protect our cultural heritage in Crimea."

Svetlana Fomenko Ukrainian Culture Minister

On loan when Russian forces took control of Crimea in 2014, the collection was assembled from four museums and represented fragments of the ancient empires that used the region as a trade crossroads.

The court ruled Ukraine is sovereign in the matter.

“Crimea is a part of Ukraine. It’s only our national authorities who can decide to which museum they should return. As you know, Crimea is occupied by the Russian Federation and we have no access to Crimea, we cannot protect our cultural heritage in Crimea,” said Ukraine’s Culture Minister Svetlana Fomenko.

For one of the Crimean museums’ curators it was almost too much. She sees nothing good coming from the decision, which the museums can appeal.

“I think it is unfair to give it to somewhere else, not to the Crimea, because it will create many more problems in the future,” said the museums’ legal representative and Curator of the European exhibition Valentina Mordvintseva.

Gems, helmets and scabbards along with jewelry make up the priceless collection, whose ultimate fate Dutch justice has now decided a Ukrainian court should decide.