Yellowing Taj Mahal to go under scaffold for ‘mud pack’

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AGRA: Scaffolding will cover the Taj Mahal’s main dome next year while a “mud pack” is applied to its yellowing marble, authorities said Thursday as they battle the effects of smog on the country’s top tourist attraction.

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The famed monument to love, which attracts millions of visitors, has for years been acquiring a yellow tinge despite a ban on coal-powered industries in the area.

Authorities have been applying “mud packs” around the side walls and towers since last year to draw the impurities out of the stone, but have not yet touched the main central dome.

“This is a part of the cleaning process through mud-pack therapy and is presently being undertaken at (the) eastern wall of main mausoleum of Taj,” said Bhuvan Vikram of the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI), a state body.

“This would be followed by cleaning of other three walls (and) thereafter it would be the turn of the (main) dome of Taj Mahal.”

The mud-pack therapy involves covering the surface with fuller’s earth and leaving it to dry before removing it with soft brushes and distilled water.

The Times of India said the scaffolding could be up for around six months.

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