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CAIRO – A self-taught Egyptian artist has spent three years creating what he hopes is the world’s biggest Quran.

Saad Mohammed, from the town of Belqina, north of Cairo, has reproduced the Muslim holy book on a paper scroll 700 metres long.

“This Quran is 700 metres long, and of course that’s a large amount of paper,” he told Reuters Television. “I self-funded this project for the past three years – and I’m an average person. I don’t have assets or anything.”

Mohammed wants to submit his Quran for inclusion in Guinness World Records.

There is so far no record holder for the largest handwritten version.

Meanwhile in Cairo, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a nearly 4,000 year old model garden outside a tomb in the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes.

The antiquities ministry said a Spanish team made the find in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis across the Nile from the modern-day city of Luxor. Measuring three metres by two metres, the garden consists of 30cm square plots in an open courtyard outside a Middle Kingdom (2050 to 1800BC) tomb.

In ancient Egypt, the dead were traditionally surrounded by objects they enjoyed in life, so they could continue to enjoy them in the afterlife.