Statues in ORR always existed from my understanding.
They did not however have map icons.
Additionally, their area of affects has been increased and graphically increased to make it easier to understand they have a negative affect on the surrounding area.
If a temple is contested, the respective statues apply some kind of negative affect to their surrounding area, and sometimes its quite dramatic... like fire storms... anti-healing gas... snaring/bleeding barbs
If the temple is freed, they are de-activated