01:11 GMT +322 September 2018
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    Tourists on the territory of the Taj Mahal palace in the city of Agra

    Indian Government Denies Claims that Color of Iconic Taj Mahal Has Changed

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    Various studies have sought to prove that the otherwise snow-white marble structure has been rapidly changing to a yellowish color over the past many years. The change has been largely attributed to pollution.

    The Indian government has assured the people of the country that the Taj Mahal is safe and that there is no deterioration of the 17th-century monument. The statement from the government comes a day after the country's apex court slammed both the federal and Uttar Pradesh state governments for failing to the tackle the deterioration of the monument due to air pollution.

    READ MORE: Beauty and the Bugs: India Launches Probe As Taj Mahal Turns Green

    "I want to assure everyone that there is no danger to the Taj Mahal's structure and there has been no change in its original color. We will submit an affidavit in this regard in the Supreme Court," Mahesh Sharma, India's Minister of State for Culture said on Thursday.  

    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India asked the government to either adequately address the concerns regarding discoloration of the Taj Mahal, a major tourist attraction, or shut it down completely.

    "You can shut down the Taj. You can demolish it if you like and you can also do away with it if you have already decided. Uttar Pradesh (government) is not bothered. No action plan or vision document has come yet. Either you demolish it or you restore it," Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed on Wednesday.

    A number of studies have been carried out by various research teams regarding the discoloring of the Taj Mahal. According to one such study conducted by country's premier engineering institute IIT, Kanpur carbon pollution around the Taj is causing the white marble to turn yellow.

    READ MORE: Reexamining History: Is Taj Mahal Really a Mughal Masterpiece?

    Over the last ten years, the government has been occasionally carrying out "mud pack therapy" in order to remove surface deposits/accretions, black and yellow spots, thereby improving the aesthetic appeal of the monument.  "The results are satisfactory as it helps in maintaining natural gloss of marble surface," Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma informed the parliament last year.

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    Tags:
    harm, tourist attraction, beauty, monument, historic, restored, pollution, Taj Mahal, Supreme Court of India, India, Agra
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