A controversy has erupted after several users on Twitter pointed out that the stone carvings on the Konark Sun Temple have been destroyed.

Twitter users posted pictures of Konark then and Konark now to show the changes made to the structure. It is being said that 40% of the stone carvings had been replaced by the ASI with plain stones. This is plain criminal a Twitter user also said. The Odisha government knew that the ASI was destroying the Temple, it tried to intervene but in vain, the user also pointed out.

It was said that when asked, the officials said that school children come here. This is why the restoration has been done. The users while quoting the guides at the temple said that maybe they restored it because it had erotic sculptures.

Abhijit Chawda, a Twitter user said that the ASI has deliberately and systematically destroyed the priceless stone carvings on the outer surface of the iconic Sun Temple causing irreplaceable loss to one of India’s cultural and architectural wonders.

Twitter users are pointing out that 40% of the stone carvings of the existing Konark Sun Temple have been replaced by the ASI with plain stones, causing irreplaceable loss to the uniqueness of the Temple.

The ASI however in a tweet posted images depicting a new look of the Konark Sun Temple. It said that these images are being posted after the removal of the iron scaffolding. The scaffolding was removed following the recommendation of a three-member team that has been studying the structure for the last several decades. The operation to remove the scaffolding began in December last year.

ASI officials pointed that it would be taking important steps for the conservation of the Sun Temple. In 2018, the chief minister of Odisha had written to the culture minister of India highlighting alleged irregularities in the ASI’s restoration of Konark Temple, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. He had said that 40% of the stone carvings have been replaced by the ASI with plain stones. The carvings of the Temple symbolise Odia pride.