Miss Universe Olivia Culpo facing charges over Taj Mahal photo shoot

Miss Universe 2012 and Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo (R) wearing floral garlands, arrives to meet...

Miss Universe 2012 and Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo (R) wearing floral garlands, arrives to meet women at a school in New Delhi September 28, 2013. (REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Authorities in India have filed charges against Miss Universe 2012 winner Olivia Culpo and her team for a fashion photo shoot at the Taj Mahal on Sunday, saying they violated India’s Heritage Act, a Rhode Island newspaper reports.

The 21-year-old beauty was seen posing with a pair of shoes in front of the famous World Heritage Site on a white marble bench, best known as the Diana Seat, which was named after the late royal in 1992, the Providence Journal reported.

Commercial branding and promotions are forbidden at the Taj Mahal and a spokesperson for the Archaeological Survey of India, said the photo shoot was done without permission.

Culpo, who was in India for a 10-day tour told the Journal that she was just doing as she was told by the Miss Universe Organization.

“I'm an employee of the Miss Universe organization and following directions given to me. I guess their vision was, 'What's better to identify India than the Taj Mahal?' But unfortunately it's something that was highly offensive. Honestly, I did say out loud at one point, 'Isn't this a little inappropriate?’” she said in the interview with her home state newspaper.

The Miss Universe Organization released a statement saying it didn't intend to offend with the photo shoot, but was continuing the video dairy of the titleholder.

“As part of these videos, we sometimes incorporate sponsors into these shoots. The filming that took place outside the Taj Mahal was never intended to be used as a commercial nor was it meant in any way to be disrespectful.”

The charge carries a fine of up to US$1,600.

 


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