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Govt exploring ways to resolve Kohinoor issue with UK: Sharma

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government is exploring ways for a "satisfactory resolution" of the Kohinoor issue with the UK government, Lok Sabha was informed today.

"The Ministry of External Affairs is exploring ways and means for obtaining a satisfactory resolution to this issue with the UK government," Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

To a query on legal and technical hurdles in bringing back antique items, including the Kohinoor, Sharma said, "The objects taken away from the country prior to Independence including Kohinoor do not fall under the purview of Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972."

The issue of bringing back the Kohinoor was in after the government, in response to a PIL, said on April 18 that the precious diamond was neither stolen nor "forcibly" taken by the British but gifted to the East India Company by the erstwhile rulers of Punjab 167 years back.

However, after receiving flak for its stand, the government had said all efforts would be made to get back the diamond estimated to cost over USD 200 million.

Kohinoor, meaning mountain of light, is a large, colourless diamond that was found in southern India in early 14th century.

The 108-carat gem, which landed in British hands during the colonial era, is the subject of a historic ownership dispute and has been claimed by at least four countries, including India.

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First Published: Mon, May 09 2016. 20:24 IST