**Bhubaneswar:** Close on the heels of a news article published in an Odia daily regarding negligence in preservation of Konark Sun Temple, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Union Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma to cause an enquiry into the matter.
The letter stated, “It has been mentioned in the Odia daily’s news item that the original stone carvings in Konark Sun temple have been removed and in their place, plain stones have been fixed. A masterpiece of creative genius in both conception and realization, the temple represents a chariot of the Sun God and is one of the World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO. It is embellished with sophisticated and refined iconographical depictions of contemporary life and activities. It is the main attraction of domestic & foreign tourists in Odisha.”
“Konark Sun temple represents the climax of Odishan temple architecture. It symbolizes Odia pride and reflects the ethical and emotional expression of the Odia people. The temple was built in 13th century AD by the king Langula Narasingha Deva with assistance of 1200 sculptors. Now only the front temple Jagamohana (front temple) remains, which is also gradually undergoing decay,” it the letter further stated.
“It has been mentioned in the newspaper report that 40% of the artistic stone carvings of the existing Konark Sun temple have been replaced by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) with plain stones. The report is a matter of worry and concern for all of us. I have a feeling that the temple deserves more attention from the ASI than what it has got. The ASI needs to focus more on proper conservation of Konark Sun temple and its art and aesthetic value,” the letter continued.
“In the above context, I would request you to cause an enquiry into the matter and also direct All to take appropriate steps immediately for preservation and conservation of this magnificent World Heritage monument,” the CM concluded in his letter.
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