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Koh-i-Noor: Indian Activists And Stars Sue The Queen For Return Of £100m Diamond

09/11/2015 10:30 | Updated 21 December 2015

One of the world's largest and most famous diamonds, which is currently part of Britain's crown jewels, is at the centre of a row after a group of businessmen and Bollywood stars claimed its rightful home is in India.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond is under dispute from the group named "Mountain of Light", who have reportedly reached out to British lawyers over the return of the 106 carat stone.

The disputed jewel, which can be dated back to 1526, was first given to the British monarch in 1851, after the British annexe of the Punjab.

kohinoor stone

Koh-i-Noor stone in the Queen Mother's crown

The group has reached out to lawyers, who are expected to begin proceedings based on the Holocaust Act (Return of Cultural Objects) which empowers British institutions to return art alleged to be stolen.

Campaigner for its return, David de Souza, told The Independent: "[The stone] is one of the many artefacts taken from India under dubious circumstances."

Souza further claimed the British colonisation of India had stolen wealth and “destroyed the country’s psyche”.

The diamond was in the crown worn by the Queen Mother at the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937 and again at Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.

Historian Andrew Roberts fought for its right to stay in the UK, telling the Mail on Sunday: “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.”

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