Wednesday, June 2, 2010

India wants UK to return Kohinoor, other artifacts |

India wants UK to return Kohinoor, other artifacts |
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has joined an international network for the return of priceless artifacts taken away during British rule, including the Kohinoor diamond and the Sultanganj Buddha. The Kohinoor also spelled Koh-i Nur and Koh-e-Noor means “Mountain of Light” in Persian. It is a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Kohinoor originated at Kollur, Guntur district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It has belonged to various Hindu, Mughal, Persian, Afghan, Sikh and British rulers who fought bitterly over it at various points in Indian history and seized it as a spoil of war time and again. Kohinoor was finally seized by the East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. ASI’s Director General Gautam Sengupta said the list of India’s treasures held abroad was “too long to handle” and there was a need for a “diplomatic and legal campaign” for their restitution from institutions, including the British Museum, the Royal Collection and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
  • The Sultanganj Buddha is the largest complete bronze figure of its kind in the world. It was found in the North Indian town of Sultanganj, Bhagalpur district, Bihar. The Sultanganj Buddha was discovered during railway construction in Sultanganj in 1862 by the East India Company. The statue is dated by archaelogists at between 500 to 700 AD. It is 2.3m high and 1m wide, and was made using the lost wax technique. It is now part of a collection at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • According to the newspaper report, the British Museum said it was satisfied that the objects highlighted by the Indian authorities had been acquired legitimately.