In the bid to conserve and beautify Taj Mahal, mud-pack therapy would be done on the main dome of the heritage site. The process, led by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will cover the main dome with mud to remove the yellow color which has surfaced on the structure. To ensure safety, the dome will be covered in iron scaffolding to do this, which authorities hope will give a fresh look to the main tourist destination of India.
The cleaning of the main dome is the part of the conservation plan of the monument submitted to the Parliamentary standing committee on environment, which has raised serious objections over black and yellow spots on the marble surfaces, especially minarets.
A senior ASI official informed that the conservation work on three minarets out of four has completed. This work will start only after completion of the fourth minaret. “We will try and start the work by April next year,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
ASI has informed that they would first conduct technical studies in association with specialised institutions before starting the actual work and it will take a year to complete to finish the whole process. The therapy based on adsorption principal is similar to the one used on the face to get rid of oil and dirt, as they are the reason of fading beauty of the structure. Additives will be used here to prolong the effect of the mudpack.
A two-millimeter thick paste of fuller’s earth (multani mitti) will be applied on the marble walls and left to dry for a couple of days and polythene sheets will be used to cover the paste for prolonging the effect. Later, when the layer of dried clay falls off, the walls will finally be washed with distilled water. The paste, while drying, absorbs dirt, grease and other sorts of deposits, leaving the stone surface clean, and enhancing the real beauty of the structure.
This method has been earlier used in UK and Italy for the conservation of monument structures.