Archaeologist sweats as fierce sun savages Taj Mahal

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An Indian archaeologist is praying for a respite from a heat wave engulfing the Taj Mahal town of Agra, warning that heavy dust in the dry air could permanently scar the marble monument to love.

Temperatures hovered this week at 45 Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) in the city, 200 kilometres (124 miles) south of New Delhi, as a heat wave that has killed 60 people nationwide in the past week dragged on.

The Yamuna River, which runs behind the 17th-century white Mughal tomb, was dry and Agra's chief archaeologist Doraiswamy Dayalan said he was worried that dust from the nearby desert and factories would turn the marble yellow.

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