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The 106 carat symbolic Koh-i-noor, will remain in the United Kingdom, says Prime Minister David Cameron. This despite requests to return the diamond to India.
The diamond is not only part of the royal diamond collection, it is a reminder of the days when the British Empire was so far reaching, that the sun never set on it. For Indians, however, the diamond is a symbol of colonial exploit.
The Koh-i-noor, or “Mountain of Light” in Farsi, was presented to QueenVictoria 160 years ago by the 11 year-old Maharaja of Punjab after his army was defeated by colonial British forces.
In an interview o on India’s NDTV channel Thursday, Cameron said that if the diamond will be returned, “you suddenly find the British Museum will be emptied.”
The Premier is heading to India next week to strengthen ties between the UK and India. The TV question and answer may not set the stage Cameron was hoping for.