A giant diamond that is set in a royal crown will not be returned to India. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his country’s decision on Thursday.
Britain and India were engaged in three days of trade and investment talks this week, and, on the final day, Cameron spoke about the diamond.
The jewel in question is a massive 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond. The diamond, which is on display in the Tower of London, was set in the royal crown for the current Queen Elizabeth’s late mother.
The diamond, one of the world’s largest, was taken by Britain during their colonial past. Many leaders in India have since demanded that Britain hand over the royal diamond.
Speaking to reporters, David Cameron said simply handing the diamond over to India didn’t seem right:
“I don’t think that’s the right approach … It is the same question with the Elgin Marbles (classical Greek marble sculptures that Athens has fought to win back).”
Cameron then proclaimed:
“The right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions to do exactly what they do, which is to link up with other institutions around the world to make sure that the things which we have and look after so well are properly shared with people around the world. I certainly don’t believe in ‘returnism’, as it were. I don’t think that’s sensible.”
The giant 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond was taken from India by Britain’s colonial governor-general of India and presented to Queen Victoria in 1850.
Should Kate Middleton eventually become the Queen of England, she will wear the crown which holds India’s diamond.
This is hardly the first time India has demanded the return of the diamond. During a visit to the country in 1997, Queen Elizabeth II was asked by many Indian officials to return the jewel.
According to David Cameron, England wants to look to the future with India and not “reach into the past.”
Do you think Britain should return the diamond it took from India without permission more than 100 years ago?