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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Taj Mahal is getting greenish

Por olimurs.92

It is one of the most important mausoleums in India and represents a love story, but its aesthetics is affected by biological phenomena. The Supreme Court of India requested help to foreign companies to stop the deterioration of the monument’s marble, due to the action of insects, and to clean it.

The Supreme Court of India just launched a help petition to foreign companies, in order to help with the cleaning of Taj Mahal, the greatest monument in the country. It is a mausoleum built in the seventeenth century, which has been affected for several years by the excrement of insects, which leave green-black marks on its white marble walls.

The bugs come from a nearby polluted river and they are called Chironomus calligraphus (Geoldichironomus). According to environmentalist DK Joshi, Yamuna river is so stagnant that the fish, that previously controlled the insect population, are dying. That is why the uncontrolled reproduction of the insects is affecting Taj Mahal.

Workers at the Archaeological Office of India have been trying to keep the walls clean, but scientists consider that if it is frequently scrubbed, marble can lose its shine, so cleaning the river is the real solution. On the other hand, the effects of established industries in the nearby city of Agra, as well as a refinery, have made the marble look yellow elsewhere, and that’s another threat.

Manoj Bhatnagar, an official of the Chemistry Department of the Indian Institute explained to local media that they have applied a sort of mud mask on the walls as a restoration work. According to him, this product is based on a traditional recipe used by women in India to restore the brightness of their faces.

The scientist explained that a layer of the high-temperature mud mixed with water is applied on the affected walls. Subsequently, it is left to dry for 24 hours or more, and then it is removed. After that, the area is washed with distilled water to remove the impurities. This system has been applied several times in the temple - the last one in January - as part of a restoration process that is expected to end later this year.

Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth. It is currently considered India's main tourist attraction. Unesco described it as a "jewel of Muslim art in India" when it was declared a World Heritage Site. Annually, it is visited by seven or eight million people.