The Indian Supreme Court has suggested that the Indian government and the Utter Pradesh state government should seek international help to reverse the discolouration of the Taj Mahal’s marble.
The mausoleum has been affected by algae from the nearby Yamuna River that has attracted insects that have excreted a green substance. Dirt from tourists has also tainted the monument, as anyone visiting the Taj Mahal has to do so barefoot.
Speaking to Archaeological Survey of India, two members of the Indian Supreme Court were quoted by the Telegraph as saying: "Earlier it was turning yellow and now it is becoming brown and green.
"It is very serious. It seems you are helpless. It has to be saved. You can get help from experts from outside to assess the damage done and restore it."
MC Mehta, an environmental lawyer who was at the meeting, told the New York Times: "My question is, ‘What are you doing about it?’ You are the custodian of monuments. You are an expert professional body. It is your job and you have to do it. Why are you so slow in taking action?"
The mausoleum has previously been cleaned with mud and clay, which removes dirt and grease from the structure, acting in a similar way to a mud bath or a face mask.
Image: The Taj Mahal (Wikimedia Commons/David Castor)