AFP reports that Afghanistan’s capital has a bold new landmark that puts it at the center of the world – or rather the world at the center of Kabul.

Municipal authorities reportedly unveiled a giant hand-painted globe of planet Earth, complete with an oversized Afghanistan, in Dahan-e Bagh square on December 7.  

The sphere, with a diameter of around eight meters, sits atop a mechanism that rotates five times a minute.  Afghanistan on the globe is somewhat bigger than official maps suggest – taking up space usually allocated to neighbors Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia’s nations. 

But the chief engineer and artist involved in the construction reportedly said it was merely to give the country “prominence”.  “We have zoomed in on it so the people could recognize their country,” said chief engineer Esmatullah Habibi.  “We hope that the world will also recognize it.”

Artist Abid Wardak said it took him four days to paint the globe – working entirely by hand while perched on a rickety bamboo ladder.

Afghanistan is painted to resemble the Taliban flag, inscribed with the Islamic declaration of faith, and not everyone is enamored with the symbolism.