Prosecutor General of the Netherlands: “Crimea’s gold” belongs to Ukraine

Status: 01/27/2023 3:06 PM

Gold, jewelry and other treasures from Crimea came to the Netherlands for display in 2014. Since the annexation of the peninsula, there has been a dispute over who owns the cultural assets. Now there is a solution.

The Dutch prosecutor has recommended that the country’s highest court finally award the Scythian cultural treasure to Ukraine.

A verdict is expected in September

This could end a year-long legal dispute, since the judges of the Supreme Council usually followed the recommendation of the attorney general. A final ruling is expected in September.

Already though In two cases, the Amsterdam courts also awarded Ukraine’s valuable cultural assets. As a result, the Museums of Crimea appealed to the Supreme Council.

Crimea exhibition in the Netherlands

It all started in 2014 with an exhibition in Amsterdam about archaeological art treasures from Crimea. Hundreds of exhibits include gold, jewelry, weapons, and masks.

Pieces at the Crimean Gold exhibition in Amsterdam in 2014.

photo: dpa

But in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The Amsterdam Museum did not return the valuables after the exhibition ended. Reason: The museum did not know who the rightful owner was.

Crimean museums, now under Russian administration, are restoring the pieces. But according to Kiev, it is about the property of the Ukrainian state. Since then, the art treasures have been kept in a secret location in the Netherlands.

Editor’s note: An earlier version says “Crimea – then part of Ukraine”. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, but it remains part of Ukraine under international law.


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