Maintenance workers found the pinnacle of the south western minaret of Taj Mahal lying on a cleaning platform surrounding the structure in Agra on Monday, sparking worries that the turret may have fallen off. However, officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said that the pinnacle was removed because the structure had weakened, blaming monkeys for it.
Three of the minarets of the Taj Mahal are being chemically cleaned and a mesh structure being put up around it. During this work, the pinnacle was found on the cleaning platform. The ASI later covered up the top of the minaret with a piece of cloth.
“The pinnacle did not fall down and is lying at the platform laid around for chemical cleaning. It would be repaired and pinnacle placed by tomorrow (Tuesday),” said Bhuvan Vikram Singh, superintendent, ASI, adding that monkeys could have weakened the structure.
Watch | Taj Mahal minaret pinnacle falls during repair work?
Scaffoldings have been put up around the minarets for the past few months to chemically wash the Taj Mahal that has taken on a dull coat over years. Once spruced up, the monument’s first big visitors will include the royal couple, the Duke and duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 16. The couple will be visiting the monument 24 years after the prince’s mother, Lady Diana, visited the Taj Mahal in 1992. Her photograph of sitting on a marble bench in front of the monument has become an iconic picture, with the bench being nicknamed the ‘Diana seat’.