The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable monuments on Earth, but over the years it’s started to look less like its old self. Smog and lowering of the insect stain once white-white marble appearance obscene shade of yellow. Now, the Art Newspaper reports that the Supreme Court of India has established an ultimatum: it threatens to close or destroy the building if it has not returned to its former glory.
Agra, the city where the Taj Mahal is located, has a notorious pollution problem. Automobile traffic, factory smoke and open burning of municipal waste all contributed to the discoloration of the increase in landmark. Insects and acid rain also threaten the facade, which already collapses away in some parts.
The highest court of India now states that the central government of the country should seek foreign assistance to restore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, if it should remain open. The state of Agra Uttar Pradesh has taken some steps to reduce pollution in recent years, such us prohibiting the burning of cow excrement, which produce heavy brown carbon. In 2015, the Supreme Court of India ordered all burning crematory forests near the Taj Mahal to be exchanged for electric.
But the measures were not done enough to keep the building. The committee, led by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpu, reportedly plans to investigate the exact sources of pollution in the area, a process that will take about four months. The Supreme Court plans to register on the status of the venue every day from July 31.
Air pollution is not the only factor that damages the Taj Mahal. It was built near the Yamuna River in the 17th century, and as the gradual water dries up, the land below the structure shifts. If the trend continues, it could lead to a complete collapse of the building.