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Taj to mesmerise visitors with new look

The monument of love Taj Mahal would soon unfold its dazzling beauty with a new look as the cleaning work of the white marble would be completed shortly.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2008 11:54 IST

The monument of love Taj Mahal would soon unfold its dazzling beauty with a new look as the cleaning work of the white marble would be completed shortly.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is protecting the monument, would complete the cleaning of the outer walls and dome of the heritage, one of the seven wonders of the world, within a few months.

"Cleaning the Taj Mahal is an ongoing work. But it has stopped at present due to monsoon. Once the monsoon is over, we will begin the work after which it would be completed within a few months," ASI Director General Anshu Vaish told PTI here.

The 17th century monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, had become yellowish due to air pollution and natural ageing.

"After the entire cleaning work is done at the Taj Mahal, the monument will sport a new look," she said.

The outer wall and the dome had accumulated dust due to pollution emanating from traffic, industry and burning of fossil fuels.

The ASI has taken up mudpack treatment which is the best way to preserve the architectural masterpiece, Vaish said.

The mudpack treatment involves pouring lime-splashed clay onto the building's fine Arabic etching to draw out the dust and other elements.The clay, found in Multan in Pakistan and in several parts of north India, is preferred for the treatment.The iconic Taj Mahal draws around 8,000 to 10,000 visitors everyday, Vaish said.

As part of its efforts to give a greener look to the monuments surroundings, the Agra Municipality has launched a campaign to clean up the area by demolishing illegal structures.The ASI has planned to set up a tourist facilitation centre at the site to help visitors get information on the history of the famous mausoleum.

The centre will have all facilities a tourist might need, she said."The centre will also have a Visitors' Interpretation Centre which will be very useful to foreign tourists," Vaish said."But we are unable to start the work of the project as a case has been filed in the Supreme Court on a matter pertaining to the monument. We are waiting for the court to settle the issue after which there should not be any problem in starting the work," she said.

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