THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A court in Amsterdam has refused to resolve a legal dispute over ownership of a Buddha statue that contains the mummified remains of a monk.

The civil court in Amsterdam threw out the case Wednesday, saying in a written ruling that two Chinese village committees seeking ownership of the disputed statue are not legal entities and are therefore ineligible to file a claim.

The villages, identified by the court as Yangchun and Dong Pu in southeastern Fujian province, say that a statue containing the remains of an 11th-century monk was stolen from their shared temple in 1995 and wound up in the collection of a Dutch art dealer.

The court says the dealer denies that the disputed statue is the stolen antiquity.

The villages can appeal the ruling.