Konark: Following allegations that a large number of original stone carvings in the Sun Temple, Konark, have been replaced with plain stones, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun conducting 3D imaging of the UNESCO World Heritage site to study internal condition of the monument.
The 3D imaging of the temple was performed with help of drone cameras in presence of the ASI officials on Tuesday. The laser scanning of the centuries old structure will be conducted after 3D imaging.
The 3D scanning will enhance the data on exterior of the World famous monument from all cardinal sides, the ASI claimed.
The move came after Odisha government took up the matter relating to the alleged replacement of sculpted stones with plain ones in the Sun Temple at Konark by the ASI.
The issue surfaced following a section of media highlighted the issue that the sculpted stone works have been replaced by plain stones in the walls as part of restoration works at the 13th century structure. Even the images of replaced centuries-old murals of Konark temple with plain stones were doing the rounds on social media.
Following the allegations, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel during his visit to Odisha in January this year had said he would take up Konark conservation matter with the ASI.
“It is alleged that sculpted stones at the Sun Temple have been replaced by plain stones. If a replica can be made, we should not go for plain stone,” the minister had said.
Last year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had urged the then Union Minister of state for Culture Mahesh Sharma to order an inquiry into the allegations.
Following the uproar, the ASI decided to use 3D laser scanning by Central Building Research Institute for a thorough study of the inside condition of Konark temple for better conservation.