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Restoration flub discolours Taj Mahal

A botched facelift attempt to beautify the Taj Mahal with a “mud-pack” applied to it’s majestic dome has left it a completely different colour to the rest of the monument.

The ‘multani mitti’ (Fuller’s earth) pack, applied to a portion of the Taj after the proposal originally mooted by Air Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (APML), Agra, and cleared by parliament in May 2007, has yielded unusual results. The monument, once pearl white, now looks patchy. The dome, which was excluded, is sepia yellow; the lower carvings and filigree work are a mismatched, bleached white. The sight has begun to disturb visitors.

‘‘We’ve taken up the matter with ASI,’’ says Mohammad Shamsuddin, president, Agra Guide Association, after tourists began to point out what they thought was a discolouration process. ‘‘Foreign tourists keep asking what’s going on but ASI isn’t taking note,’’ he said.

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