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Taj Mahal facial

The week's news at a glance.

Agra, India

The mud-mask mixture that Indian women smeared on their faces hundreds of years ago is now being used to clean the Taj Mahal. Archaeologists recently found the recipe for a facial treatment—a blend of lime-rich soil, cereal, and milk—in a 16th-century journal, which said it would draw impurities from the face. They discovered that the mud could do the same for the pollution-grimed marble of the Taj Mahal. Just brush it on thickly, wait 24 hours, and rinse off. Archaeologist K.K. Muhammad, who leads the team restoring the 17th-century mausoleum, said the cleaned portion now gleamed whiter than it had in decades. “It is withstanding pollution,” he told the London Telegraph. “This breakthrough has attracted attention from other archaeologists.” Italian scientists plan to use the same mixture on Roman ruins.

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