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The Magna Carta of 1215. This document is now held at the British Library
Source Wikimedia Commons
And still when mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!
From Rudyard Kipling’s What Say the Reeds at Runnymede?

Smog enveloping the Taj Mahal
Image credit Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon

Tann, in The Archaeology News Network, reports on the pollution that’s turning the 366 year-old Taj Mahal yellow –

India’s white marvel, the Taj Mahal, is slowly turning brownish-yellow because of air pollution, says an Indo-US study which also identifies the pollutants responsible for the effect. It says the Taj is changing colour due to deposition of dust and carbon-containing particles emitted in the burning of fossil fuels, biomass and garbage. The study confirms what has been suspected for long – that Agra’s poor air quality is impacting India’s most celebrated monument.

The research was conducted by experts from US universities – Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin – as well as Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Archaeological Survey of India. The paper was published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal in December.

The findings can lead to targeted strategies to curb air pollution in and around Agra and more effective ways to cleanse the marble surface of the 366-year-old mausoleum, which remains by far the most visited man-made structure in the country with footfalls of more than 6 million in 2013.

More here.



January 2015
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