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taj mahal: What’s colour of Taj? Scientific study to find out | India News

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AGRA: What’s the colour of the Taj Mahal? While you may have already guessed the answer, the Union culture and environment ministry is not taking any chances. A month after the Supreme Court expressed concern over the change of colour of the iconic Mughal-era monument, Union culture and environment minister Mahesh Sharma said that a scientific study will be conducted to assess the exact colour of the marble of Taj Mahal and its report will be produced in the apex court.

“First it was yellow and now it is becoming brown and green,” a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had observed on May 1 after the court perused the photographs placed before it by petitioner M C Mehta and asked additional solicitor general A N S Nadkarni, who was representing the government, as to why the colour of Taj Mahal has changed.

“We don’t know whether you have or perhaps don’t have the expertise. Even if you have the expertise, you are not utilising it. Or perhaps you don’t care,” the bench had said. “Perhaps we need some expert organisation from outside India unless there is a decision that the Taj has to go,” the bench said sarcastically, adding, “you can get experts from India as well as from outside.”

Speaking at a workshop of stakeholders on issues relating to pollution around Taj Mahal here on Sunday, Sharma said, “We have original photographs of the monument that are over 100 years old and the same will be compared with pictures taken after cleaning of the monument to measure the changes”. The technique, known as colour stereography, uses two almost identical pictures that when viewed through special glasses or a stereoscope form a single three-dimensional image. It allows people to perceive both variations in colour and variations of light.

Sharma said that after this scientific study, there will be a proper document, so that “no one can raise questions on the colour of the 17the century mausoleum or claim that it’s turning yellow or brown”.

When asked if the Centre is considering the apex court’s suggestion to involve international experts in the conservation of the Unesco world heritage site, Sharma refused to comment, saying that the matter is sub-judice. He, however, said that the government will put ground realities before the court.

Environmentalist Mehta has filed the plea seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.

The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal between 1632 and 1653.

Updated: June 3, 2018 — 8:07 pm

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