Property Law Seminar Series – ‘The Scythian Treasure: Ukrainian State Property v. Crimean Private Property?’ by Mr. Laurens Kasteleijn (Online)

Property Law Seminar Series – ‘The Scythian Treasure: Ukrainian State Property v. Crimean Private Property?’ by Mr. Laurens Kasteleijn (Online)

The Scythian Gold collection was on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in the Netherlands on loan from four Crimean museums for an exhibition in 2014 – prior to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

The objects were in Amsterdam when Crimea separated from the Ukraine. Consequently, it was not clear to the Dutch Museum to whom the objects should be returned and it accordingly continued to hold the museum pieces pending a ruling by the courts.

On October 26, 2021, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the collection of Scythian gold should be returned to Ukraine. The Court of Appeal finds that the Ukrainian State was allowed to protect its cultural heritage and notwithstanding the museums’ right of operational management.

The public interests at stake are of great weight and this case is, according to the courts, closely connected to the Ukrainian State. Though the regulations encroach on private legal relationships, they do so for the sake of cultural interests that outweigh the interests of the Crimean museums.

About the Speaker:
Laurens Kasteleijn is the founder of Art Law Services: a Hong Kong and Amsterdam based consultancy firm offering legal services to individuals and organizations active in the international art world.

As a former art gallery director and corporate M&A lawyer, Laurens founded Art Law Services in 2013 – integrating his love of art, his legal training and his knowledge of international business. Laurens holds a Masters degree in corporate law from the University of Amsterdam and has also studied in France and in Beijing at Tsinghua University.

Laurens has lectured on ‘Legal Issues in the Art World’ at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in Hong Kong and in London, and writes frequently on this subject. He is the co-author of the Dutch chapter of the IBA Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee report.

He is the Chair of the Art and Law Association in the Netherlands, member of the Royal Asian Art Society, Committee member of the IPBA, member of PAIAM, legal committee member of the Art Identification Standard, and a contributor to the Responsible Art Market initiative in Switzerland.

In 2021 he founded a new company: Kasteleijn Mediation & Arbitration, specialized in solving art disputes – for which Laurens is a registered mediator with the Court of Arbitration of Art (CAfA) in The Hague.

The Law Society of Hong Kong has awarded this seminar 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) point.


12 Jan 2022


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm