From The Guardian:
A calligrapher worked for five years to create the world's biggest Qur'an in a bid to show the world that Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage and traditions have been damaged but not destroyed by 30 years of war, it has been revealed. The lavish book, with pages measuring 2.28 metres by 1.55 metres, has been certified as the world's largest by the Afghan ministry of Haj and religious affairs, according to the Kabul cultural centre that houses it. The previous claim to the title was for a copy unveiled last year in Russia's Tatarstan region. The Afghan Qur'an weighs 500kg and its 218 pages of cloth and paper, bound inside an embossed leather cover made from the skins of 21 goats, cost over £300,000 to create.
Mohammad Sabir Khedri, the master calligrapher behind the project, worked with nine students on a design that combines gold script with millions of tiny colourful dots, forming highly symbolic decorations around the giant pages. “I wanted to use as many tasteful colours as possible to make this holy book look beautiful,” he said, standing beside his enormous creation in a room built specially to house it. Khedri not only created the masterpiece, he managed to keep it a secret for over two years. It was finished in 2009, but the binding and room to house it were not ready until the start of 2012, when it was finally unveiled. The Qur'an is housed in a cultural centre originally founded in the 1980s, and once home to 50,000 books, a medical centre, and schools for Afghan crafts such as carpet weaving.