Research platform and Newswebsite “Raam op Rusland” reports on the pleadings at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the proceedings on restitution of the Crimean treasures, which took place on 11 March 2019. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine claimed the restitution of the Crimean treasures, which were not in Ukraine at the time, but in the Netherlands for an exhibition in the Amsterdam Allard Pierson Museum. In 2016, the issue was already settled in Ukraine’s favour after which the Crimean Museums – which had the treasures in their possession prior to the annexation – appealed. Journalist Hella Rottenberg was present at the hearing throughout the day and spoke with various parties and stakeholders, including ministers and other dignitaries of the State of Ukraine, who had come over for this important step in the proceedings.
The State of Ukraine and the four Crimean museums faced each other in the court of Amsterdam where they disputed the ownership of Crimean treasures that had been loaned for an exhibition. During the exhibition in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Since that moment the Allard Pierson Museum holds the artworks in its custody until there is a decision from the court. Rottenberg clearly states: “It may take years, but eventually Ukraine will get back ‘the only Ukrainian possession of Crimea outside the occupation. How great geopolitics is fought over a small piece of cultural heritage.” The appeal ruling is expected on 11 June 2019.
Read the article here.