Experts have raised serious concerns over the repeated use of mud pack therapy on the Taj Mahal to protect it from the perils caused by pollution and insects. The therapy exercise may rob the Taj of its original colour and texture experts warned.
The therapy is currently being applied for the third time in the last 14 months on the monument’s north wall. Earlier it was done for the first time in April last year when the parliamentary standing committee on environment inspected the Taj following an Indo-US study which claimed that black and brown carbons along with dust were yellowing the monument. Later it was carried out again in September 2015 after hordes of insects left green patches on the walls.
Officials of the Archaeological survey of India (ASI), which maintains the Taj, said frequent therapy mars the monument’s aesthetic value. “At the rate it is being conducted, scaffolding will cover the monument most of the time,” a senior ASI official said.
“It is the state’s responsibility to take measures to curb pollution” a senior official said. The therapy, however, is “the safest and most-used method to clean monuments across the world,” said an official from ASI’s science branch.
SN Tripathi, professor at the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT-Kanpur, who was part of the Indo-US study, had earlier told TOI, “With regular cleaning, the original colour, texture and shine from the marble surfaces will be gone forever.”