Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

Diamonds are Forever….

I was going to write about something different today, but yet again I am drawn to the issue of stolen artifacts.

Having discussed the Chinese and their statues, and the Greeks and their marbles, you may wonder whether I'm finally losing mine!  I now learn that Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma, is leading a campaign calling on the British to return the Koh-i-noor diamond to India.

He's been spurred into action because his grandfather's sandals and spectacles are going to be sold in New York. Words like "jump" and "bandwagon" spring to mind!  Crown

He says "returning it would be an atonement for the colonial past" and likens the situation to that of the Crown Jewels of England being held by an Arab sheikh, "Britain wouldn't really like that!" he said.

The slight difference to all of these examples however, is that the diamond was presented to Queen Victoria as a gift, back in 1850. 

Whilst it is unclear who originally owned the "Mountain of Light" as it is otherwise known, it came into British hands in 1848 during uprisings in the Punjab.

Can it be argued that it was a spoil of war, and therefore another "Brit-knick"?

One wonders where all these claims are going to end. It appears that one fuels another, and so on. (Watch this space!)

Speaking about "The Mountain of Light" it is another Flashman packet of the same title (see top right), detailing the Sikh Wars of the period.

As I have previously referred to the said bounder's tale of the Second Opium War of 1860 (Flashman and the Dragon), it's a remarkable coincidence that two of his experiences in the 19th Century are dealing with issues still unresolved today – and all in the space of a week!

For an excellent enthralling history about the diamond read the article: Koh-i-noor, a Mountain of Light by Harpreet Kaur.

Footnote: The diamond is kept at the Tower of London and is the centrepiece
of the Maltese Cross of the Coronation Crown made in 1937 for Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (see image above).

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March 6, 2009 - Posted by | Current Affairs

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