Russia is attempting to appropriate valuable exhibits from Crimean museums that are currently on loan abroad, said Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for Social Affairs, Oleksandr Sych, during a news briefing on March 24.
“Some of the exhibits from Crimean museums are being shown abroad and Russian authorities are trying to have them sent directly to the Hermitage (in St. Petersburg) rather than return them to Crimea,” he said.
He explained that, as a result, regulations have been changed to transfer administration rights over these valuables to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
Earlier, Espreso TV, citing Krym Komentari and social media, reported that the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam was refusing to return to Crimea the articles borrowed for the exhibition “Crimea Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea.”
According to blogger Volodymyr Kornilov, the “Crimean museums sent their best masterpieces of the Scythian period (to Amsterdam) — a lot of Crimean rarities and artifacts, including a lot of gold jewelry. Theoretically, the exhibition will close and the exhibits should be returned to the museums. However, the direction of the museum in Amsterdam claims that since the Netherlands has not recognized the independence of Crimea or its incorporation into Russia, all the exhibits will be transferred to the Ministry of Culture in Kyiv,” he wrote.
The Director of the Central Museum of Tavrida Andriy Malhin confirmed to reporters of Krym Komentari, March 22, that there is some concern about the fate of the collection
“This collection, according to the agreement, is on display until August 30 and then it should be returned to Crimea. So far, the Amsterdam museum has made no official statements on this matter. Due to the fact that certain political events are taking place in Crimea, it is understood that we are concerned. However, I hope and expect that all these issues will be resolved,” he said.
According to Malhin, employees at the Crimean museum are actively cooperating with their Ukrainian counterparts and performing their duties despite the political situation.
Translated by Anna Mostovych