Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe, in Trouble for Photo Shoot at Taj Mahal

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 01:32 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012, is apparently in hot water in India after local authorities filed a case against the Rhode Island-born beauty for allegedly having an unauthorized footwear fashion shoot at the Taj Mahal on Sunday.

The 21-year-old American's shoot was viewed as an "insult" to the monument by its caretaker, who filed a complaint against her as well as the Indian-born fashion designer Sanjana Jon, who accompanied her to the historic site, the AFP reported.

"We have registered a case against Ms Culpo and her team members after receiving a complaint," local police officer Sushant Gaur told the AFP. "We have booked her under various sections... of India's Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act."


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Visitors to the Taj Mahal are required to remove their shoes while visiting the monument, though footwear is permitted in the garden where the photos of Culpo were taken.

According to Gaur, during her visit, Culpo posed for photographers with branded shoes while sitting on the Diana Seat, a marble ledge in front of the white mausoleum. The seat is named after the late British princess, who visited the site in 1992, the AFP reported.

"There are strict guidelines against any sort of branding and promotion at Taj Mahal and the photo shoot conducted was without any prior permission," N.K. Pathak of the Agra unit of Archaeological Survey of India, told the AFP.

Culpo's visit to the Taj Mahal on Sunday was part of a ten-day tour of India.

The Miss Universe winner has yet to weigh in on the controversy. She touted her Taj Mahal visit on Instagram Monday, uploading a photo of the monument, writing, "We made it to the Taj Mahal. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen!!!! So amazing."

It is unclear at this point if the case will go to court, the AFP noted.

The Taj Mahal, which is comprised entirely of white marble, is a mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in the early 17th century. The iconic structure took more than 20 years to complete and is visited by approximately 3 million people each year, according to the National Geographic.

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