Glass cover for Taj Mahal graves to protect inlay





How to retain the pristine glow of the Taj Mahal? From application of mud pack to planting herbal hedge, authorities have in past, tried all tricks in the beauty book to arrest aging of the 350-year-old Mughal mausoleum.

Now comes another attempt from the ASI. The agency has ambitious plans up its sleeves — to cover with glass casing the famous intricate lapidary inlay work of the inner chamber, housing false sarcophagi of the emperor Shah Jehan and his consort Mumtaz Mahal, to ensure its beauty and longevity.

Superintending archeologist ASI AR Siddiqui told TOI on Monday the ‘‘operation initially will be limited to a small scale and would be expanded if successful’’. The plan has already been approved by director general ASI K N Shrivastava during a visit in October, he said.

Significantly, sullying of the marble surface by constant human touch and even attempts to deface the exquisite inlay work of precious and semi-precious stones — jade, jasper, turquoise, lapis lazuli, sapphires — have been a source of concern. Though with CSIF men on guard there has been a perceptible drop in numbers, imposing a constant ‘hands off’ on thousand of tourists daily is a near impossibility, officials frankly admit.



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