Who owns the Crimean Past? Conflicted Heritage and Ukrainian Identities
Laarse, R. van der
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Who owns the Crimean Past? Conflicted Heritage and Ukrainian Identities ‘Crimea Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea‘ was the title of the 2014 exhibition of several German museums and the Amsterdam Allard Pierson Museum in cooperation with four Crimean museums and the Kiev museum of Ukrainian treasures that wanted to show the multicultural dynamics of the Crimean area ever since the Scythians. Interestingly though, the exhibition has become itself the deployment of a multicultural conflict after the recent separation of Crimea from Ukraine. Moscow, Kiev and the Crimean museums all claim the ‘Crimean Treasures’ as heritage. To whom should the artefacts be returned? The Dutch have transferred the decision to court, but to understand what’s on stake these politics of identity need to be explained in the geopolitical context of postwar Ukrainian memory wars.