India Wants Kohinoor Diamond Back


India wants the world famous Kohinoor diamond back from Great Britain. It denies that the diamond was given to the British East India Company by Punjab rulers. The Indian government has said that it wants to persuade Britain to give back the diamond. The 105 carat diamond is part of the Queen Mother's Crown which is on display at the Tower of London.

The Kohinoor diamond was found in the mines of southern India, probably in the 13th century. After belonging to several warring groups in southern Asia, it finally ended up in Queen Victoria's possession in the middle of the 19th century.

In the past few years India has made attempts to get back several historic items. Some historians claim that the Kohinoor diamond was taken away from India by force.  The large colourless diamond was cut in order to improve its brilliance.

It is not the first time that the Indian government has demanded the return of the Kohinoor diamond. Shortly after India became independent in 1947, the government made its first claim for the diamond . Several requests followed, one of them at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.



In  2000 members fo the Indian government signed a petition demanding the diamond be given back to its rightful owners. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also claimed ownership of the diamond.




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  • attempt = try
  • brilliance = brightness
  • by force = to use physical action to get what you want
  • carat = the weight of a jewel
  • century = a hundred years
  • claim =
    • to say that something is true
    • to say that something belongs to you
  • coronation = event at which someone is made king or queen
  • cut = here: to make something more beautiful by cutting it
  • demand = here: to want something back
  • deny = to say that something is not true
  • East India Company  = one of the many European companies that traded with India in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • historian = a person who has studied history
  • improve = to make better
  • independent = free
  • item = here: valuable object
  • mine = hole in the ground where coal and other minerals are dug out
  • on display = people can come and see it
  • ownership = the fact that something belongs to you
  • persuade = to try to make someone believe that what you want is good for them
  • petition = an official document signed by many people who want something to be done
  • possession = the fact that you have or own something
  • Punjab = large area in eastern Pakistan and northwestern India
  • request = politely asking for something
  • rightful owners = here: the people or country who the diamond belongs to
  • several = some, a few
  • sign  = to put your name on a document
  • warring = at war