Last Chance To See ... The Taj Mahal in White
Yes, of course we messed with this image. But soon, it might not be too far off the mark. The magnificent white marble Taj Mahal is in danger of turning a sickly yellow shade, due to runaway pollution.
Reports today say that a study commissioned by the Indian Ministry of Environment concludes that the desperate measures launched a decade ago at a cost of around $150m, to prevent the 17th century wonder from succumbing to airborne pollutants and turning yellow, have failed.
Local efforts in the city of Agra, which include a banning of cars near the tomb, intensive clay-pack treatments to the facade itself, new clean-fuel initiatives to nearby industry and a lot of serious investment in emission reduction, have been positive, say experts. But the trouble is that Agra lies downstream of Delhi, and the river water arrives polluted with both human and chemical waste.
As yet, the building looks white, but that won't last for long, fear campaigners, so go now, or prepare to Photoshop your holiday snaps