India joins UN effort to retrieve cursed diamond
Published 03/06/2010 | 05:00
INDIA has joined an international campaign to make Britain return the "cursed" Koh i Noor diamond.
The gem has been in British possession since East India Company forces defeated the Maharaja of Punjab in 1849 and forced him give it to Queen Victoria as part of the Treaty of Lahore. It was last worn in public by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. India claims it was illegally acquired and wants it returned along with other treasures.
After years of unsuccessful lobbying it has joined an international campaign backed by the United Nations for the return of treasures to several countries, including Mexico, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
The gem has been worn only by female members of the British royal family because it is said to carry a curse when worn by men. (© Daily Telegraph, London)