COVID-19: Taj Mahal, other ASI protected monuments to reopen on June 16
New Delhi, June 14: While the number of coronavirus cases are seeing a drop in the tally, the Archaeological Society of India (ASI) has reportedly said that the Taj Mahal and other monuments protected by it and remained closed for visitors for the last two months due to COVID-19 will reopen on June 16.
Speaking to a news agency, the official said that visitors will be able to book entry tickets online while the offline booking facilities will be unavailable.
The Taj Mahal and other ASI-protected monuments, sites and museums were declared shut till May 15 by the Union ministry of culture due to the onset of the second wave of COVID-19.
The reopening of these monuments, museums and sites is likely to help revive tourism across several states as state governments ease restrictions following a reduction in the number of cases.
According to reports, the ASI also took up important restoration work in several of these monuments including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. It said that the restoration work will make the monuments look more beautiful when tourists return.
Speaking to PTI, ASI's superintending archaeologist (Agra circle) Vasant Kumar Swarnkar said, "During the closed period, mud pack treatment will be applied to the main dome of Taj Mahal while conservation of minarets in the monument will be done. The old stones of pietra dura art at the royal gate will be changed and the gate itself will be given a new look."
The government had introduced a similar measure in March 2020 when the pandemic broke out but later in December the ASI removed the cap on the number of visitors to its protected monuments when the number of cases fell.