There was a time when the sun was always shining in the British Empire. The time when they ruled as much as 24% of the earth’s area. This surely brought them the possession of most of the valuables from every part they ruled. Some of these things are now kept at the museum in London. Here is a list of the 8 most valuable items that the Britishers took away with them.
This has to be in the first place. Koh-i-Noor diamond was found in India’s Kollur mine. It literally means ‘The Mountain of Light.’ The diamond-adorned the famous Mughal peacock throne after being in Allauddin Khalji’s watch for years. It was handed over to Queen Victoria in 1849 after India was declared a British colony. The diamond has always been with the royal women as it was believed as a jinx for men. Currently, Koh-i-Noor is kept in Jewel House in the Tower of London.
2. Elgin Marbles
Also known as The Parthenon Marbles, a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures. The marbles were carved under the supervision of Phidias and his assistants. It was taken by Lord Elgin, to London and hence the marbles got a new name. Lord Elgin claimed that he had all the permissions to take away the marbles. But when Greece asked rightfully for the marbles’ possession, Britishers did not have an apt answer to it. However, they continue to sit in the British Museum as the Monarch is not quite interested in returning them.
3. Ethiopian Manuscripts
Following the battle of Maqdala, the Britishers took several valuable things, including the scriptures for which the people of Ethiopia have been fighting. An association is formed that demands the stolen Ethiopian treasures back from the Britishers. The association still tries hard to get back the pieces of literature.
4. Benin Bronzes
Benin Bronzes is a collection of over 1000 metal pieces used to decorate the royal palace of Benin’s kingdom, present in Nigeria. The metal pieces showcase the ancient culture of Nigeria. Presently, the pieces are situated in the British Museum. However, it is quite terrible for the local people; if they want to explore ancient African art, they have to travel all the way to London.
5. Seeds Of Hevea Brasiliensis
They are the seeds of the rubber plant that are shed twice a year. The seeds consist of a thin hard shell and a kernel containing oil used in various industries. Henry Wickham, a British explorer, stole around 70,000 seeds of the Hevea Brasiliensis to help his state establish rubber plantations in South East Asia. The incident totally ended the Amazon Rubber Boom, the great economic time in Brazilian history.
6. Rosetta Stone
The stone is made of Granodiorite and has writings inscribed in 3 different Egyptian languages. The stone is estimated to be carved around 196 BC. Rosetta stone was acquired from Egypt by Napolean Bonaparte and from him by the Britishers when they defeated Frenchman’s army during the early 1800s.
7. The Ring Of Tipu Sultan
Unfortunately, one of India’s most brave kings, Tipu Sultan, lost a battle to the Britishers in 1799. Historic texts believe that the British soldiers stole Tipu Sultan’s sword and his ring from his cadaver. The sword remained in India, as it was purchased by Vijay Mallya, and the ring was auctioned by the British for £145,000 in 2014.
8. The Wine-Cup Of Shah Jahan
Mughals have always been known for their royal lifestyle and mesmerizing pieces of architecture and art. Shah Jahan, the man who raised the Taj Mahal, you can imagine how artistic his belongings would be. The beautiful wine-cups used by Shah Jahan fell into Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie’s hands in the early 19th century, and from there, they found their way to London.
As you can figure out that the Britishers took almost every valuable thing they found and considered it as theirs. But talking ethically, they must return all the things back to the corresponding countries. By doing so, the local people and upcoming generations would be able to know how did their ancestors live? What kind of culture they had? What monuments they made? All these are quite essential for a country’s cultural development.