Internationally acclaimed sand artist and member of the Srimandir Management Committee, Sudarsan Pattnaik on Saturday wrote a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting him to save ancient artworks falling under the parikrama project.
In his letter, Pattnaik praised the CM for his vision to make Puri a world heritage city and at the same time brought his attention to how the ongoing project work is damaging the ancient artworks.
“Our state is known for Kalinga art and architecture around the World. At least the Kalinga artworks on the walls of Mathas and temples can be handled carefully or preserved properly. It is my humble request to you sir please kindly take necessary action to preserve our old artworks as soon as possible (sic),” read the letter.
When contacted, Pattnaik said, “What is the need of replacing the murals and ancient artworks carved on the walls of mutts with plain Khondalite stone pieces? What pains me most is that I have been raising this matter at different forums of the managing committee but to no avail. Those who have been engaged for the work are not professional at all.”
On the other hand, the Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation Limited (OBCC ) justified its work saying everything is being done as per the guidelines.
“The repair and renovation work of the mutts is underway on a war footing. We are carrying out the work after stabilizing their walls and foundations. We are only cladding with Khondalite stones as per the guidelines,” said OBCC’s project officer, Pravat Panigrahi.