The British Empire, at its territorial peak, was once the biggest empire the world had ever seen. It covered 13.01 million square miles of land – which is more than 22% of the world’s landmass. Not only that, they had 458 million people in 1938, more than 20% of the world’s population.
A token of once the most powerful British empire is the British museum, where they keep all the valuable possessions they gathered from across the globe.
British empire is synonymous to taking things that aren’t theirs – in fact, the word of the street is that their museums would be empty if they were to return all that they stole from other nations.
And these precisely seem to be the intentions of the netizens demanding the British empire to return all those priceless items to their country of origin. The death of Queen especially seems to have reignited the uproar.
Here is a list of valuables stolen by the British empire.
1. Kohinoor Diamond
Of course, one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, originally mined in India, currently residing in the Queen’s crown stored in the Tower of London’s Jewel House, rumoured to be passed down to Camilla now. The diamond was given Queen Victoria in 1849, and since then, has been in British possession – but now, Indians want hold of their artifact back!
2. The Great Star of Africa diamond
Cullinan Diamond or the Great Star of Africa diamond is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. As the name indicates, it was originally discovered in South Africa, but now is part of the Crown Jewels.
3. Amaravati Marbles
The Amaravati Collections or Elliot Marbles is a series of inscriptions and sculptures in the British Museum from Amaravathi, India.
4. The ring of Tipu Sultan
The ring of Tipu Sultan is a part of Indian heritage as it belonged to a Muslim ruler, Tipu Sultan, known for fighting against the British rule in India. This ring is assumed to be taken from him, as he lay dead, by a British general.
5. Elgin Marbles
Elgin Marbles are a collection of ancient Greek marble sculpture, now on display in the British museum. They are renamed Parthenon marbles by the British empire. Netizens demand that they be returned back to Greece.
6. Ethiopian Manuscripts
The British took these manuscripts from Ethiopia after the battle of Maqdala in 1868, while these manuscripts were what Ethiopians had been fighting for in the first place. There is an Ethiopian association made specifically for the purpose of retrieving these manuscripts.
7. Benin Bronzes
A group of plaques and sculptures created from brass and bronze in the once mighty Kingdom of Bernin (today’s Nigeria) are some of their best artifacts that reflect Benin art. These were looted by the British empire in 1897, and the talk continues between UK and Nigeria regarding them.
8. The Wine cup of Shah Jahan
This remarkable cup made of white nephrite jade is a fine example of jade craftsmanship. It was originally designed for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, but was acquired by the British empire in the 19th century.
By the looks of it, British museum might just be empty walls if everything is repatriated back to their original nations.