New Delhi sources stated that the saying goes that the Taj Mahal is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, and golden when the moon shines. Even though this may once have been true for the famously pristine marble monument, a mixture of pollution and poor management has now burdened the Taj with a 24 hour layer of yellowy brown. Meanwhile when condemning the “lethargy” of restoration efforts, India’s Supreme Court recently told the government to restore Taj or demolish it.
Furthermore over the last four centuries the Taj has aged and darkened as a result of natural oxidation processes the marble equivalent of rust but it has been given no help by its hostile surroundings. Presently it has been drenched in acid rain, coated in soot from industrial and domestic chimneys, and eroded by atmospheric pollutants.
Reports added that air pollution in Indian cities
is legendary, and Agra is no exception. As in many Asian cities, increasing car
ownership has caused traffic to surge, while dirty air seeps from Agra’s oil
refinery and tannery chimneys. Moreover these pollutants sulphur dioxide, Nox
gases, and mainly carbon based particulates have steadily weathered and eroded
the Taj’s brilliant white facade, giving it a yellow sheen. Further the smoky
funeral pyres are lit, and piles of rubbish are regularly burned very close to
the buildings and pollution from the Yamuna River presents a further challenge.
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