Around Asia: Miss Universe charged with “insulting” Taj Mahal

Authorities in India accused Miss Universe Olivia Culpo of “insulting” the Taj Mahal for engaging in a fashion photo shoot wearing a pair of red high heels deemed offensive by the caretaker of the world famous “monument to love.”

A police case has been filed against 21-year-old Culpo—crowned the most beautiful woman in the universe—and her team, including Indian-born fashion designer Sanjana Jon.

“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.

“We have booked her under various sections . . . of India’s Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,” he added.

Culpo reportedly posed for photographers with the branded shoes near the Diana Seat, a marble ledge in front of the white mausoleum named after the late British princess who visited in 1992.

Visitors must take off their shoes while visiting the centuries-old monument. Although footwear is allowed in the garden area where the Diana Seat is located, authorities said there are strict rules on any sort of promotion at the Taj Mahal.

“The photo shoot conducted was without any prior permission,” said N.K. Pathak from the Agra unit of Archaeological Survey of India.

Mumbai-based Mid-Day tabloid quoted Munazzar Ali, the monument’s caretaker, as saying Culpo’s modeling at the Taj Mahal amounted to “disrespect and insult.”

How the team was able to get a bag of shoes through the World Heritage monument’s security is also being questioned.

The Miss Universe Organization released a statement Thursday and apologized for “any unintentional harm our indiscretion and insensitivity may have caused.”

By: Maesie Bertumen

Image of Olivia Culpo, left and Miss Indonesia, Whulandary Herman: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta/Flickr

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