The coronation, the Kohinoor diamond, and its colonial past
Diamonds are more than just pretty objects. Passed down over centuries, they can tell the story of their pasts. But that story isn’t always a happy one.
For many South Asians, the diamond that invokes this painful colonial history is the Kohinoor diamond.
It’s one of the largest diamonds in the world. And it was taken during British colonial rule in the 19thcentury from what is now modern-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Today, the diamond belongs to the British royal family. But the death of Queen Elizabeth last September revived calls for its return.
In February, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Consort Camilla would not wear the Kohinoor diamond in her crown for the coronation this Saturday.
How should we handle artifacts taken during colonial periods in modern times? And what do empires owe the people they’ve colonized?
Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5