South Africans largely indifferent to calls for restitution

July 20, 2023


Officially known as Cullinan I, the diamond in the sceptre was cut from the Cullinan diamond, a 3,100-carat stone that was mined near Pretoria. A smaller diamond cut from the same stone, known as Cullinan II, is set in the Imperial State Crown which is worn by British monarchs on ceremonial occasions. Along with the sceptre, it is kept with the other crown jewels in the Tower of London.

Now amid a global conversation about restitution and the need for returning artwork and artefacts that were pillaged during colonial times, there are calls from some quarters in South Africa for the diamond to be brought back to its country of origin. However, it would seem that South Africans in general are not too concerned in having part of their heritage restored to its rightful place as the online petition garnered a mere 8,000 votes.

Cullinan II – the second Star of Africa – positioned front and centre of the Imperial State Crown. Courtesy of the Cape Town Diamond Museum.