Koh-i-Noor Diamond: Queen of England Sued By India

India wants the 105-carat diamond known as Koh-i-Noor in the crown of the Queen Mother back, as reported by The Independent.


The £100m Koh-i-Noor, once the biggest known diamond in the world, is currently among the crown jewels of the UK. It was in the crown of the Queen Mother during the coronation ceremony of her spouse King George VI back in 1937. It was later used again during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The jewel now remains in the crown of the Queen Mother.

Legal proceedings to have it returned to India have already started off at the request of businessmen and Bollywood stars whose group is called “Mountain of Light”, named after the stone itself.

The Mountain of Light group argues that the diamond was stolen from India. They believe it belongs in India, being “one of the many artefacts taken from India under dubious circumstances”.

The Koh-i-Noor was handed over to the Queen of England by the last ruler of the Sikhs, Duleep Singh, back when the British had taken over the Punjab. Those behind the lawsuit claim that the diamond is part of their history and culture, and must, thus, be returned.

British lawyers of the Mountain of Light explain that their case will be based on the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act that allows UK institutions to return stolen art. The case might be taken to the International Court of Justice.

On the other hand, opponents of the decision have their own arguments.

“Those involved in this ludicrous case should recognise that the British Crown Jewels is precisely the right place for the Koh-i-Noor diamond to reside, in grateful recognition for over three centuries of British involvement in India, which led to the modernisation, development, protection, agrarian advance, linguistic unification and ultimately the democratisation of the sub-continent,” says historian Andrew Roberts in a statement to the Daily Mail.

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