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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:25

Video transcript

I'm mark fen associate conservator here at the asian art museum of san fran you might think that this stupa was solid but in fact it's Hollow and it's very interesting to consider what's inside it contains all sorts of materials which in context are considered sacred some of them were pretty surprising to me as part of the ceremonies that we held in order to close our old location in Golden Gate Park and move to this building we decided to reconsecrated stupa and a similar size figure of a llama they'd had their contents removed decades earlier but we had the content still around so first we got a Tibetan scholar Robert Clark and a local Lama to come in and look at what we had already taken out and to tell us if we need anything else to go in with it they left us with quite a shopping list of things to come up with first of all they wanted a lot of dried juniper branches or the leads of the Juniper plant which would serve as sort of a packing material and then they gave us also a list of things like we had to come up with barley and sesame and rice in little packets also gemstones or pieces of gemstones coins and a few other things then we had a bunch of rolled sutras from previously on the day we had everything there we had a table in the gallery that was all set up like a temple altar and we had the stupa and the Lama there and all the monks so the Lama who's in charge then came up and turned the stupa upside down and started loading in all the contents with the juniper leaves as a packing material between until it was all full it's getting full but they didn't have everything in yet so the mom and charged casually reached over and picked up this hammer that was sitting there holding it by the head he used the handle like a plunger and started jamming the content in which of course alarmed me terribly because I'm a conservator and I know that this thing is made of gilded copper sheets that are riveted together and I could just imagine him hitting good and hard and shoving the hammer all the way through and having everything fall out on the floor that'd be amazing so suddenly as we were trying to figure out what to do he stopped somebody else came up with a much smaller a little mallet that he could use instead but he had got as far as he wanted to go apparently because he stopped with the plunger went ahead and put the rest of the contents in and then we put the plate that's on the bottom there in place and turned it over for the rest of the ceremony and then later on we took it downstairs and secured the bottom more permanently you