The ASI is the custodian of the 13th century shrine.
Bhubaneswar: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday clarified that not a single stone carving has been replaced at the Sun Temple in Konark and denied allegations of replacement of artistic stone works at the world heritage monument.
The clarification comes two days after Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, taking cognisance of media reports, wrote to the Central government urging it to direct the ASI to probe allegation of replacement of artistic stone carvings at Sun Temple with plain stones. The ASI is the custodian of the 13th century shrine.
“Not a single piece of stone has been removed from any portion of the surviving structural remains of the Sun Temple, Konark,” ASI’s superintending archaeologist, Arun Malik, said in a statement here.
“Also, no replacement of stone has been done there for conservation or repair of any other purpose in last more than a decade’s time,” he said.
With effective implementation of advanced techniques of scientific preservation, the rate of erosion of surface stones of the temple has been considerably controlled, the ASI official said.
Creation of a green belt to protect the temple stones from saline breeze and sand blasting from the nearby Bay of Bengal has further contributed to the retarded rate of deterioration of stones, he said in the statement.
“Therefore, there was no need of renewing or replacing any stone from any portion of the monument in the recent past. Also there appears to be no such need in near future,” Mr Malik said.