African news. Calls are growing in South Africa for Britain’s royal family to return the world largest clear-cut diamond, the Great Star of Africa, in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
The Great Star of Africa or Cullinan I in description is a diamond cut from a larger gem that was mined in South Africa in 1905 and handed over to the British Royal Family by South Africa’s colonial authorities. It is currently mounted on a royal sceptre belonging to the dead queen.
There have been several demands that the diamond be brought back to African coupled with calls of reparations which have now intensifies since the queen’d death. We wrote about it here: African leaders mourn Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen’s death has opened up a conversation about colonialism and how it relates to her legacy. South African media has been debating ownership of the gem, along with demands for the payment of reparations. Activist Thanduxolo Sabelo said: The minerals of our country and other countries continue to benefit Britain at the expense of our people, the Cullinan Diamond must be returned to South Africa with immediate effect, wrote CNN.
More than 6,000 people have signed a petition asking for The Great Star of Africa to be returned and displayed in a south African Museum. Other diamonds stolen by the colonial power are also being demanded they be returned.
According to the Royal Collection Trust, which oversees the royal collection of the British royal family, the Cullinan diamond was presented to King Edward VII (the British monarch at the time) in 1907, two years after its discovery in a private mine in South Africa’s old Transvaal province.