Agra conservationists want Kohinoor brought back to India

Agra, Jan 9 (IANS) Three days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav laid the foundation stone of the Rs.140 crore Mughal museum, heritage conservationists here on Saturday demanded that the precious Kohinoor diamond be brought back to India.

According to the president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, Surendra Sharma, the Mughal museum in Agra should be the final resting place of the Kohinoor, the Peacock throne, and thousands of historical documents, including Akbarnama and Babarnama and 42 drawings of the Taj Mahal which are part of the 1942 report on conservation of the Taj Mahal, languishing in the British museum in London.

“We have sent a representation to the concerned minister in New Delhi and are looking forward to his response,” Sharma told IANS on Saturday.

“Kohinoor belongs to India. It was taken away by the British from the Punjab maharaja and presented to the Queen on July 3, 1850,” said social activist Shravan Kumar Singh.

Earlier, Nadir Shah who invaded Delhi, had acquired the priceless stone from Mughal ruler Mohammed Shah.

The conservationists also said original Mughal paintings, particularly miniatures and the Akbarnama, are in possession of the British Museum in London.

“The government of India should strive to secure possession of these valuable heritage pieces through persuasion and negotiations with the erstwhile colonial powers,” they added.

The Kohinoor is a 106-carat diamond which was once the largest diamond in the world. It is now in the possession of the British royal family.

The Britsh came across the gem when they conquered Punjab in 1849 and Queen Victoria received it in 1851. The stone then weighed 186 carats.

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