India demands return of famous Koh i Noor diamond from Britain

The following brief is being published courtesy of: Seventy Seven Diamonds

Author: Clive Twyman

The Indian government has requested the urgent return of the infamous Koh i Noor diamond from Britain. This is an action undertaken under the aims of a recent international campaign supported by the United Nations for the rightful return of historic treasures to a variety of countries, including Mexico, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt.

The impressive diamond has been in British possession since 1849 when the East India Company forces in India defeated the Maharaja of Punjab and forced him to offer it up as a tribute to this victory, to Queen Victoria of England.

The diamond is set into the British Crown Jewels, and weighing in at 105-carats it was at one stage the largest diamond in the world. The Koh-I-Noor has a rich history behind it and is also thought to carry a curse if owned by any man; hence it has always only been worn by female royalty.

As the legend professes: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God or Woman can wear it with impunity.”

Despite its current British ownership, India claims that the gem was possessed by a number of Mughal emperors and Maharajas prior to being seized by the British. The country has been demanding for the precious stone to be exchanged back over to them for several years now, since India believes that it was acquired by illegal means. India is demanding its return, alongside several other proclaimed treasures which were removed during the colonial period.

On behalf of the British High Commission based in New Delhi, a spokesman revealed that the British government rejects India’s claim and insisted that the famous diamond had been “legitimately acquired.” A report released in the Daily Telegraph stated that the ownership of the stone was “non-negotiable.”

The Architectural Survey of India protects the antiquities of the country. The Head of this organisation, Dr Gautam Sengupta, explained further by saying that since there were so many countless looted Indian treasures located in European museums, if India requested the return of each one of them, “many of the museums would have to pull down their shutters.”


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