Puri: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) today refuted the allegation of replacement in artistic stone carvings with plain stones at the Konark Sun temple.
A meeting in this regard was held at the State Secretariat under the Chairmanship of Odisha Culture Department Principal Secretary Manoranjan Panigarhi.
ASI Deputy Engineer (Archeology) Tapan Bhattacharya and ASI Regional head (Odisha circle) Arun Mallick discussed the matter with the state government officials.
During discussions, ASI Superintending Archaeologist Arun Mallick said that some plain stones were installed in the temple in the British era. “Not even a single stone carving of the Sun Temple has been replaced in the last 15 years. The plain stones have only been placed at blank portions of the temple, he said.
The officials further added that the plain stones were placed for the conservation of the monument as per the guidelines of the ASI and UNESCO.
“The ASI is committed towards the preservation of the World Heritage Monument, the Sun Temple at Konark,” Mallick further said.
According to officials, the ASI representatives will be holding a discussion in the matter tomorrow (November 13) in a meeting, to be held in the chamber of Odisha Culture Minister Ashok Panda at the State Secretariat at around 12.30 pm.
The meeting will be attended by Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner, Puri Collector, Kakatpur and Nimapara MLAs will be present. The ASI officials will submit a detailed report in this regard followed by an in-depth discussion on the matter, the official added.