A number of Crimean archaeological artifacts currently on loan to a museum in Amsterdam must be returned to their home museums at the conclusion of the exhibit, a Russian official said Thursday.

On Sunday, media reports indicated the Dutch museum, in consultation with the country's foreign ministry, was considering sending the artifacts to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture in Kiev, instead of the museums that lent them, RIA Novosti reports.

Mikhail Shvydkoi, the special representative of the Russian president on international cultural cooperation, said the items should be returned to the museums in Crimea.

The exhibition entitled "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea" was opened in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in February and runs until May 18. A collection of archeological finds from five Crimean museums are on display, including gold artifacts, a ceremonial helmet and valuable stones.

The artifacts were produced by the Scythians, nomadic steppe people noted for their prized elaborate gold artwork that inhabited much of present-day Eastern Europe in the 7th to 2nd century BC.

Photo:Allard Pierson Museum