27 April 2016
The Indian government has vowed to renew its efforts to retrieve the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Britain.
The Koh-i-Noor, meaning “Mountain of Light” in Persian is the most famous diamond in the Crown Jewels. Afghan Queen, Wufa Begum said of the famous diamond: “If a strong man were to throw four stones, one north, one south, one east, one west, and a fifth stone up into the air, and if the space between them were to be filled with gold, all would not equal the value of the Koh-i-Noor.”
The stone had been given to the British in 1849 by the 10-year-old Sikh ruler who at the time was under duress, after his mother was thrown in jail.
Ownership of the gem is a very sensitive issue for many Indians who believe that it was stolen by Britain and see Britain’s continued possession of it as an extension of colonial history.
UK Prime Minister has dismissed urges to return the diamond and some others believe that such priority shouldn’t be given to returning the diamond anyway.
The diamond was last worn by the late mother of the present Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, and was set in her crown inside her coffin lay in 2002.