The Star of Africa is the largest piece of African gold ever found

Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond as part of restitution for slavery The government has defended the return of the blue and white…

The Star of Africa is the largest piece of African gold ever found

Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond as part of restitution for slavery

The government has defended the return of the blue and white diamond, which is the largest piece of African gold ever found, on the grounds that it was stolen from Africans by a white diamond-mining company.

The National Union of Mineworkers says the value of the Star of Africa is more than half a billion pounds.

The Star of Africa, weighing 7.35 carats, was found near Kimberley, on the border of Botswana and Namibia, in 1869.

It is currently in an open-air museum in Lusaka, Zambia, but remains on public display in Kimberley, which is home to the diamond’s famous stone, the Great Star of Africa.

The Star of Africa is believed to weigh more than a double-million pounds, with a likely value of more than $500 million.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president, David McWilliams, called on the government to return the stone.

He told MailOnline: “The government must return the stone to the people who it was stolen from.

“If the government is not prepared to do so, then the return of the stone would be in the nation’s best interest.”

‘Stolen’ stone

The Star of Africa was found in May 2010 at Dandora, a mine deep in the Kalahari, when the diamond was struck by a large bolide rock.

A few weeks later the stones were moved from their original position to an area of the Kalahari that had not previously been explored.

It was the largest stone to be found in the area and now forms a large part of a museum dedicated to African history and culture.

NUM, which represents 9,000 miners in the UK, had written to the Foreign Office asking them to look into the return of the stone.

The union says it has been lobbying for more than a year, and wants it to be returned as part of a public international auction of other stolen art, which is also under way in London.

It says it will release any relevant statistics to support its argument.

“We have been calling on the government to return the lost treasure, but the best way to do this is to have it auctioned,” Mr McWilliams, told The Daily Telegraph.

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