BHUBANESWAR: Kohinoor has a controversial history and there are many claimants to it, opined noted Scottish historian, writer and curator William Dalrymple.
Delivering 20th Lecture of Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecture series organised in Secretariat conference hall on Saturday, Dalrymple said the gem, weighing 105.6 carats, is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
Kohinoor is an integral part of Indian history, art and literature, said Dalrymple. Relating to the historical reference of King Ranjit Singh presenting the jewel to Lord Jagannath at Puri, he said it symbolises colonial sovereignty of the country.
Kohinoor is the most infamous diamond of the world because of the controversies around its ownership and after effects of its possession, added the Bafta Award-winning broadcaster and critic. Presently it is ceded to Queen Victoria as part of the British Crown jewels.
Dalrymple is author of nine world famous books about India and Islamic world. A visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton and Brown University, he recently curated a major show of Mughal art for Asia Society in New York under the banner of Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi (1707-1857) wherein the jewel of Kohinoor was described and related to.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy along with Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Commissioners of different departments participated in the open session followed by the lecture.
Padhi felicitated Dalrymple with the OKH memento to mark his visit to the State. The lecture was telecast across district headquarters through video conferencing. Collectors along with senior officers, students, teachers and researchers from various parts of the State participated.