| KOLKATA, India, July 16
KOLKATA, India, July 16 Poisonous fumes, dust
and smog are staining the white-marbled Queen Victoria
Memorial, one of India's best-known landmarks from the days of
the British empire, a leading environmental agency warned on
The monument, built a century ago when Kolkata - then known
as Calcutta - was the capital of British-ruled India, is
turning yellow, according to the National Environmental
Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
NEERI sent a report last week to the Kolkata High Court
recommending measures, including limiting traffic around the
Queen Victoria Memorial, to save it from further destruction.
"Our findings were crystal clear and crisp and we believe
and trust that our observation will help," a senior NEERI
official, who requested not to be named, said on Monday.
Built in the early 20th century, the memorial houses one of
the world's longest paintings -- an elephant procession --
among some 3,000 exhibits in 25 galleries.
A bronze statue of Queen Victoria is enthroned at the
entrance and the dome is inscribed with the text of her
imperial proclamation speech.
"The white marble is turning yellowish due to pollution,
and plasters have peeled off in many chamber walls," Bimal
Bandyopadhyay, a senior archaeologist said.
This is not the first Indian monument to face problems from
growing air contamination. A parliamentary report this year
warned that India's Taj Mahal was turning yellow due to