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Kollur2147 | కొల్లూరు ౨౧౪౭

Golconda Estate, India \ గోలోకొండ, భారతదేశం


Clients: Sotheby's, Rubel Negi Foundation, Hefty Art

Curated by: Kunel Gaur, Kanishq Chabaria, Owais Husain, Shurooq Amin, Anand Venkateswaran, Sahil Arora

Status: on auction

Tags: diamond, post-colonial, web 3.0, history, Kohinoor

The early legends of the Kohinoor Diamond are that it was mined in antiquity during the Kakatiya Dynasty at the Kollur Mine, a deep gravel-clay pit on the south bank of the Krishna River in present-day Andhra Pradesh, India. Cut to present day, it was last sighted publicly during the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth, still very much a symbol of colonial wealth and prowess. For centuries, it's been said that the sun never sets on the Empire. On the contrary, what if it never rose on all those lands that were systematically deemed uncivilized, massacred, and still shape their economic frameworks today? For these lands, colonialism is not just a mystical thing of the past, from which the perpetrators have been absolved by confession. It stays invisible and omnipresent, still dictating the terms to unknowingly / unwillingly perpetuate a polarising crisis of identity, suffering and poverty.

The Kohinoor remains not only a precious, large diamond then. It becomes one amongst many priceless symbols of an oppressive ghost, one which haunts United Kingdom as much as the Indian sub-continent. Only instead of the haloed galleries of the British Museum, it's perched atop the Crown.

Fateful Night

In a land of ancient glory

Where animals roamed, wild and free

A mystical Kohinoor lay somewhere hidden

Alas, a foreign hand did come,

Armed to the teeth with greed and guns

Bent on hell, conquest and fire.

This land was ravaged, its beasts enslaved,

Its beauty and culture all but erased.

Few survived this cruel wave.

On a fateful dark night, in the Mountain’s Light

They banded together in silence,

Set their differences aside

To struggle for freedom – tooth, nail and claw.

On a crown or in a mine,

The Kohinoor may yet brightly shine.

But it can never match the enduring drive

Of all animals once colonised.

In a brave new world,

Ages after, as we gather again

There echoes a question at last, long forgotten:

Have we really been set free or are we still tamed?

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