India’s Supreme Court has threatened to shut the Taj Mahal as it warned environmental degradation was a “hopeless cause” and castigated the authorities for not acting fast enough to protect the 17th century white marble monument.
“Either we shut down the Taj or demolish it or you restore it” the two-judge bench warned the government on Wednesday in response to a petition by an environmental activist, concerned over the steadily worsening state of one of the world’s seven wonders.
In their observations on the recent discolouration of the monument, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum to his wife Mumtaz Mahal in Agra, 153 miles southeast of New Delhi, the judges took a dig at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
“Eighty million people visit the Eiffel tower which looks like a TV tower” the judges told India’s federal government and the administration in Uttar Pradesh state, where the Taj is located.
“Our Taj is more beautiful, and if you had looked after it your country’s foreign exchange problem would have been solved (through additional visitors)” the judges added.
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SOURCE: The Telegraph, Rahul Bedi