Sunday, November 8, 2015

Queen may face legal challenge over Koh-i-Noor - stolen cultural heritage

A lobby group made up of Indian businessmen and actors is mounting a legal challenge against Queen Elizabeth II demanding the return of the world famous Koh-i-Noor diamond to India. The 105-carat stone, believed to have been mined in India nearly 800 years ago, was presented to Queen Victoria during the Raj and is now set in a crown belonging to the Queen’s mother on public display in the Tower of London. [...]The Koh-i-Noor, which means “mountain of light,” was once the largest cut diamond in the world and had been passed down from one ruling dynasty to another in India. But after the British colonisation of the Punjab in 1849, the Marquess of Dalhousie, the British Governor-General, arranged for it to be presented to Queen Victoria. The last Sikh ruler, Duleep Singh, a 13-year-old boy, was made to travel to Britain in 1850 when he handed the gem to Queen Victoria.
In 2013 British Prime Minister David Cameron while on a visit to India, defended Britain’s right to keep it saying he did not believe in “returnism”.

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