Taj Mahal to get mud-pack 'beauty treatment'
Pollution has caused discolouration of the white marble monument
It is known as the Jewel of India – but the Taj Mahal could do with a little polishing.
The white marble mausoleum is to be given a mud-pack to remove yellow pollution stains, archaeologists have said.
It will be the fourth time in its history that the 17th century monument, which is set on the banks of the river Yamuna and one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, has been cleaned.
The last mud-pack was applied in 2008, but high levels of pollution in recent years have left the Taj Mahal looking slightly the worse for wear.
“Due to increasing pollution in the city, the white marble is yellowing and is losing its sheen,” B M Bhatnagar from the Archaeological Survey of India told the Press Trust of India.
“To restore the natural look of the monument the chemical wing of the ASI has started preparations for a mud-pack treatment,” he said.
The cleaning procedure is said to be modelled on a traditional beauty treatment used by Indian women who apply "Multani mitti" (Fuller's earth) to their faces to keep their skin glowing.
Mr Bhatnagar said that affected areas of the Taj Mahal are covered in a 2mm-thick layer of Fuller’s earth, which contains high levels of lime.
“When it dries the flakes are removed from the surface with soft nylon brushes and washed with distilled water to remove impurities sticking to the surface,” he said.
The first mud-pack treatment took place in 1994: subsequent cleaning procedures were carried out in 2001 and 2008.
- 2 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 3 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 4 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...