PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Experts Needed for Taj Mahal Cleanup

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from India

Comment | More

AGRA, INDIA—International experts are needed to help remove spotting and yellowing of marble on India's iconic Taj Mahal, according to reports.

A recent inspection by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment discovered black spots on a number of the 17th-century monument’s minarets, The Times of India reports.

The massive structure is also yellowing due to pollution, despite ongoing cleaning efforts.

Taj Mahal
Yann / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Built between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum with a massive marble dome 115 feet high and minarets that reach 130 feet.

Critical of the local administration’s restoration and pollution-control efforts, the committee has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to seek international help and to immediately remove the black spots from the structure.

Built between 1631 and 1648, by the order of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum with a massive marble dome 115 feet high and minarets that reach 130 feet.

The monument is located in the growing industrial city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Study Prompts Inspection

The 16-person committee visited the Taj Mahal in the wake of a recent study on the cause of the mausoleum’s discoloration.

In the 1970s, observers began noting that the gleaming, white marble was turning shades of yellow and brown, causing many scientists to question why.

Pollution was the suspected culprit, but a systematic study had not been done to determine the specific cause.

That is, until last year, when researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin, the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur and the Archeological Survey of India concluded that light-absorbing carbon particles and dust floating in the air from vehicle emissions and burning of biomasses (such as dung and trash) in the area were responsible for the discoloration.

Marble
Nemonoman / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Local authorities have been cleaning the marble structure with lime-rich clay every few years since 1994.

To arrive at this determination, the team placed small samples of pristine marble on the Taj Mahal, left them there for two months, and then analyzed the particles on their surfaces. They also conducted air sampling to measure what was in the air at the complex from November 2011 to June 2012.

“Some of these particles are really bad for human health, so cleaning up the Taj Mahal could have a huge health benefit for people in the entire region,” according to Michael Bergin, a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The health of humans and the health of the Taj Mahal are intertwined.”

Unsatisfied Officials, Orders Given

Rajya Sabha MP Ashwani Kumar, who led the recent inspection of the famous structure, accused the local administration of not doing all it could to protect the Taj Mahal.

"We are not satisfied with the quality of restoration work that is being claimed to have been done for the Taj,” Kumar told the India Times.

“ASI [Archaeological Survey of India] officials have assured us that whatever remains to be done will be done urgently,” he said.

“[…] They have been further directed to formulate a comprehensive restoration plan and implement it in a time-bound manner.”

river
Dcastor / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The Archaeological Survey of India was ordered to ensure the control of pollution on the banks of the Yamuna River, near the Taj Mahal.

In addition, the committee ordered Uttar Pradesh’s pollution control board to curb pollution in the nearby Yamuna River, expressing grave concern over untreated water flowing directly into the river, according to the India Times.

The ASI was ordered to ensure the pollution on Yamuna banks is controlled.

The committee wants a status report on the restoration and pollution efforts every three months, the report noted.

The Taj Mahal Treatment

Since 1994, local authorities have removed stains on the monument by using mud treatments—a sort of monumental facial.

The process involves plastering the Taj Mahal’s surface with lime-rich clay and then peeling it off. However, experts have said that this method of cleaning could have unwanted side effects.

Officials hope that restoration experts from France, Italy and the U.K. can help shed light on a safe way to keep the marble brilliant, reports say.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors each year.

   

Tagged categories: Architectural history; Building facades; Color; Historic Structures; Maintenance programs

Comment from Nathan Bjornson, (4/22/2015, 1:51 AM)

Soda blasting with the correct formula (media) and pressure is one way to achieve the cleaning. If will be costly no matter the solution but harming the structure would cost more for sure.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (4/23/2015, 8:33 AM)

Dry ice blasting is almost certainly safer for the structure than either water blasting or soda blasting.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
 
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.
 

 
Novatek Corporation
 
Dustless Coatings Removal
 
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800 www.Novatekco.com
 

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
 
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
 
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
 

 
Sky Climber, LLC
 
Solutions in Suspended Access
 
Safely reach workspaces regardless of size or purpose with our full line of Hoists, modular Platforms, and versatile Workcages.
 

 
CHLOR*RID International Inc.
 
SOLUTIONS THAT WORK
 
Companies that invest in corrosion control use CHLOR RID products
  • Soluble salt removal liquid
  • Test kits to verify contamination levels
  • Surface passivation to hold the blast
INFO@CHLOR-RID.COM 800.422.3217
 

 
Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
 
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT
 
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.
 

 
Sauereisen, Inc.
 
Substrate Repair Materials
 

Substrate Repair Materials and Filler Compounds

Sauereisen's full line of underlayments are the ideal substrate repair materials to restore structural integrity prior to the application of SewerGard©
 

 
SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
 
http://www.sspc.org/
 
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us