This sculpture is a replica of the Svayambhu Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, which is regarded by the Buddhists of Nepal as the center of the cosmos. In Buddhist thought, the same generative power embodied by the Svayambhu Stupa can be accessed by replicating the original, and such replicas must be reconsecrated at intervals in order for the symbolism they employ to remain active. For the Svayambhu Stupa in Kathmandu, such reconsecration involves a critical but dangerous step: it must be regilded with a technique using fire and mercury (mercury gilding). This Svayambhu replica was gilded using this technique.