Danielle Kinsey portraitHistory Professor Danielle Kinsey was quoted in an article explaining the global conversation about returning artwork pillaged during colonial times. A short excerpt is included below with the full article, “South Africans Want Their Diamond Back. Will the Monarchy Ever Return Colonial Jewels?” posted online.

The diamond “has a history of being part of war booty or trophies taken as the result of war in South Asia. So, in a lot of ways, it is a symbol of plunder and represents the long history of plunder imperialism,” Danielle Kinsey, an assistant professor of history at Carleton University in Ottawa, told NBC News.


According to the Week, there’s no reason they couldn’t be returned. But the British government has previously stated that there is no legal basis for restitution of the diamond in its opinion. Nobody in the British royal family has mentioned returning jewels to their countries of origin, but Kinsey told NBC News that in the case of the Kohinoor, “at some point, the monarchy will understand that keeping the diamond is more of a public relations liability for them than an asset.”

She went on to say that there are “many, many looted artefacts in Britain today,” and that returning colonial-era objects is “the right thing to do if the royal family is serious about making apologies for the ills of British imperialism and how they profited from it.”