AGRA: Police said yesterday they had filed a case against Miss Universe for conducting an unauthorised footwear fashion shoot at the Taj Mahal which was slammed as an “insult” by the monument’s caretaker.
Twenty-one-year-old American Olivia Culpo, wearing a long peach-coloured dress, visited the world-famous “monument to love” in Agra on Sunday during a 10-day tour of India.
“We have registered a case against Ms Culpo and her team members after receiving a complaint,” Sushant Gaur told AFP from the tourism police station in Agra, 180 kilometres south of New Delhi.
“We have booked her under various sections... of India’s Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,” he added.
Gaur said Culpo posed for photographers with branded shoes while sitting on the Diana Seat, a marble ledge in front of the white mausoleum named after the late British princess who visited in 1992.
“There are strict guidelines against any sort of branding and promotion at Taj Mahal and the photo shoot conducted was without any prior permission,” said N K Pathak from the Agra unit of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
A case has also been registered against Indian-born fashion designer Sanjana Jon who accompanied Miss Universe to the site. Registering a case is a preliminary step and the issue may not necessarily go to court.
Visitors must take off their shoes while visiting the monument, an Islamic mausoleum built for the late wife of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and completed in 1648. Footwear is allowed in the garden area where the Diana Seat is located.
Culpo’s office was not immediately available for comment.