The Netherlands has been ordered to keep out of a pending court case over the fate of thousands of valuable gold artifacts which have been stranded in Amsterdam following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Four museums in Crimea are suing the city’s Allard Pierson museum for the return of the treasures which were on display in the Dutch capital until August last year.
The Netherlands had demanded it become a party to the court case, a date for which has not yet been set.
However, judges in Amsterdam said on Wednesday the Netherlands has no place in the court case because officials had ‘failed to give sufficient reasoning why the eventual ruling could have a negative impact on its affairs’.
The four Crimea museums welcomed the judges’ decision to keep the Dutch state out of the process.
The disputed objects include ‘spectacular archaeological finds’, including gold items, a scabbard and a ceremonial helmet, and countless precious gems.
The items came from five museums in Ukraine, four of which are now under the control of Russia. Ukraine has also demanded the return of the works.
The Netherlands does not recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
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