Thursday 27 November 2014

Crimea Museum Gold Tussle

On November 19,  Four Crimean museums filed a complaint before an Amsterdam court  to force a Dutch museum to hand back priceless treasures loaned to the art-house shortly before Russia's annexation of Crimea in March. The Allard Pierson Museum decided in August not to return artefacts on loan from the museums for an exhibition titled "The Crimea: Gold and Secrets from the Black Sea." There is now a dilemma where the objects should be returned, with Russia's annexation of Crimea not being recognized by the EU. The director of one of the four, Andrei Malgin of the Tavrida museum in Simferopol told AFP that
under international law "the objects on display must be returned to where they were discovered and where they were preserved ... and that is the museums of Crimea." In a joint statement the four Crimea establishments said there could be no question of choosing between Kiev or Moscow. "The museums of Crimea are the legal owners of the objects," which have become "hostage of the political situation." 
This is not true, the international conventions talk of states parties, and in Ukrainian law, the ownership of archaeological artefacts is vested in the state - which then appoints a curating institution to hold it and may rule on its removal from any institution unable to exercise that care on behalf of the Ukrainian people - which in this case is true, the region is occupied by a foreign power.   

'Four Crimean museums launch legal bid in Holland to recover priceless treasures' Art Daily 27th Nov 2014.

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