Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Kanchipuram: Kailasanatha Temple: Photo 7
Restoration can be tricky, but these stone carvings were originally covered with plaster to hide the joints in the sandstone blocks. How many times they've been replastered is a nice question, but in the 1920s Albert Henry Longhurst of the Archaeological Survey of India wrote that "a vast number of the larger figures and bas-relief panels decorating the central shrine and attendant buildings were extensively renovated less than ten years ago. Whether this modern work is inferior to the original, I cannot say, but it is certainly of no particular artistic merit and the temple and surrounding buildings are spoilt by over ornamentation, every available space being covered with crudely executed plaster figures and reliefs depicting Siva in his numerous manifestations in bewildering confusion" (Pallava Architecture, pt.3, p. 13).
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