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slides: NEW: RI’s Miss Universe Olivia Culpo In Taj Mahal Controversy

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


Olivia Culpo's official Miss Universe portrait. Photo: Miss Universe.

Rhode Island's own Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, has found herself in the hot seat after being photographed modeling designer shoes at India's Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

As part of a 10-day trip to India, Culpo donned shoes and was photographed near the "Diana Seat," a marble bench where Princess Diana was famously photographed in 1992, with the Taj Mahal in the background. While there was no controversy at the time, according to reports, the shoot is now being claimed to have been in violation of India's Supreme Court guidelines prohibiting any commercial activity at the site. The Archeology Survey of India has filed a complaint against Culpo and the organization behind her visit, according to reports.

Culpo was touring the country as part of her charitable work as Miss Universe. She called the Taj Mahal "one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen" in a Tweet from the grounds on October 6th. 

To see more images of Culpo from her earliest days in Rhode Island to her crowning as Miss Universe, see the slides, below.  


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Winning Smile

You can see the personality and beauty in Rhode Island's brand-new Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, from the very beginning.

Photo: The Culpo Family

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The Culpos

Is there any prouder family in Rhode Island on December 19th? The Culpo family (Olivia in the bright red dress) on vacation.

Photo: The Culpo Family

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Bay View Girl

Culpo is a 2010 graduate of St. Mary Academy Bay View in Riverside. Her yearbook photo shows the fresh-faced beauty before ascending to pageant royalty.

Photo: St. Mary Academy Bay View

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The Graduate

Olivia is not the only Bay View alum to have reached the upper echelon of the Miss USA pageant. Danielle Lacourse, who was 1st runner-up for Miss USA in 2007, is also a BVA graduate and helped coach Olivia for her successful run at the title.

Photo: St. Mary Academy Bay View

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Loyal Alum

Rhode Island's Bay View Academy grads stick together, and Culpo is no exception. After being crowned Miss USA, she returns to see her fellow BVA girls.

Photo: St. Mary's Academy Bay View.

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Happy Texter

Olivia reacts to a text from the casting director of Mark Wahlberg's film, TED, while shopping on Boston's Newbury Street with fashion blogger Gilda Miranda, who snapped the shot for her blog, Take It From Me.

Photo: Gilda Miranda

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Happy Shopper

Fashion blogger Gilda Miranda dubbed Olivia Boston's "IT" girl in August 2011, and she couldn't have been more on the money. Miranda found Olivia to be as modest as she is beautiful, and featured her on her blog Take It From Me.

Photo: Gilda Miranda

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Appearing for RI

Since being crowned Miss RI USA in September 2011, Olivia has not only prepared for Miss USA, but made myriad appearances in the state on behalf of sponsors and non-profits. She appears here with Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2011 Livia Stencel, who hails from nearby Warwick, at a Gifts of Hope event.

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Classical Musician

Now known as "the cellist who won the Miss USA pageant," Olivia has played the instrument most of her life, and is the child of two musicians. She currently plays with Boston University's chamber orchestra, Boston Accompanietta, as she is shown here (far right).

Photo: Miss RI USA

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The Young Artist

Olivia was a cello student associated with The Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and her embrace of her instrument make a glamorous image for her Miss Universe portfolio. How many RI girls will be taking up the cello now?

Photo: Miss Universe Organization

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Home to Model

While Olivia has enjoyed a print modeling career for several years in Boston, she returned to RI to pose for hot designer Andrea Valentini, who styles Olivia here for a recent shoot.

Photo: Andrea Valentini

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Fashion Plate

The final result of Olivia's work for designer Andrea Valentini, echoing classic models and editorial fashion of the 1970s.

Photo: Andrea Valentini

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On the Runway

Olivia (left) walking the runway for designer Andrea Valentini (center) at StyleWeek Providence.

Photo: Daniel Gagnon Photography

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Miss Universe

Culpo's meteoric rise from Miss Rhode Island to Miss USA to Miss Universe took everyone's breath away. She is currently serving as an ambassador for good will and beauty throughout the world. 

Photo: Miss Universe


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Gary Arnold

Congratulations you make RI proud and most importantly you earned the crown as Miss USA.

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