Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond and Nobel Prize diamond to Nigeria
A diamond was a gift in a previous life, but was stolen from a native Nigerian tribe today, and will be returned by the British to the country which has received it. The decision to return the diamond is one of the most controversial in all of history.
A diamond was a gift in a previous life, but was stolen from a native Nigerian tribe today, and will be returned by the British authorities to the country which has received it. The decision to return the diamond is one of the most controversial in all of history.
The diamond, a stunning 4.0 carat (1.5 grams), weighing in at about five times the weight of the Nobel Prize diamond, was stolen from the Great Star of Africa, a collection of jewels given to Britain by the last king of Nigeria in 1892 in recognition of his services to the country.
Nigeria’s president, Michael Anapau, announced today that he will return the diamond to the nation of which it was once a part, ending a centuries-old dispute over ownership. The decision was made on the same day that the London School of Economics awarded Anapau, a former banker and diplomat, the Goldman Prize, widely considered the most prestigious prize in economics.
Anapau’s decision to return the diamond will restore to Nigeria the status of a nation, a role it had lost during the country’s more than 50-year period as a colony of Britain. He will be joined by a dozen fellow African leaders who have called for the return of the diamond, the country’s third-largest diamond to be stolen since the country gained independence in 1960.
The decision to return the diamond comes on the eve of the fourth annual meeting of the International Conference on Diamond Research, a two-day meeting which brings together scientists, diamond industry representatives, diamond traders, and diamond brokers from around the globe.
The Great Star and Prince of Wales