(QHA) -

Failure to return the Scythian gold collection to Crimea could be called embezzlement, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky noted, VOA reports.

"In the event of the collection not being returned to Crimea, this will be considered a fact of approved theft," the culture minister said.

Talks with the museum in Holland are being held at the level of foreign ministries, he said. "This week we are planning to meet with ministry officials and join in, if need be," the minister said.

The exhibition titled, "The Crimea. Gold and secrets from the Black Sea," opened at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in early February. It contained collections from five Ukrainian museums, including one in Kiev and four in Crimea.

It displays over 500 archeological finds, including artifacts from Scythian gold, a ceremonial helmet, precious stones, swords, armor, house ware of the ancient Greeks and Scythians.

Since the Netherlands does not recognize Crimea's annexation, which took place after the exhibition opening, the question arose as to whom the collection should be returned to once the exhibition closes in August.

In late March, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent a note to the Netherlands, asking it to guarantee the return of the exhibits displayed at the Amsterdam exhibition to Ukraine, the ministry's spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said in Kiev earlier.

Meanwhile, Crimea has threatened to stop cooperation with European museums if the Scythian gold collection is not returned to the peninsula's museums which made it available, the Crimean State Council said on its official website.