A report on the Times of India states that a group of art students have found that repair and renovation work going on at the Nageshwaran temple in Kumbakonam has damaged rare art and sculpture in the temple. The students reportedly say that the work is happening without technical supervision. This comes just a week after the Madras High Court pulled up the TN government for poor maintenance of temples.
“Workers were waterblasting sculptures when we visited the temple a couple of weeks ago,“ said R Vishwanathan, a student of Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam. “They tried the `technique' on every sculpture after applying some white paste on the sculpture. The idea was to clean the dirt accumulated on them. But water-blasting is dangerous on ancient pieces of art. A close look revealed that the edges and minute features of the sculptures have been damaged due to waterblasting.“
Members of the renovation team, however, said experts are guiding them.
“We haven't done anything wrong. The sculptures are facing ruin. We cleaned them using water. We take care of every piece of art with great care,“ said a supervisor of the team who didn't wish to be named.
The Nageshwaran temple is one of the oldest in Kumbakonam and is known to have been built in the 10th century. The TOI report further states that inspite of a letter sent to the government on the issue, the work has not been stopped.