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Turkmenistan's Marble-Clad Capital Sets Record

The presidential palace in Ashgabot is built of marble.

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan has earned another spot in the record books, with its capital recognized as having more white marble on its buildings than any other city in the world.

The capital, Ashgabat, has been transformed from a post-Soviet backwater into a city of hundreds of soaring marble-clad government buildings and apartment blocks in an ostentatious display of Turkmenistan's natural gas wealth.

Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday on Saturday awarded Ashgabat the record for the highest density of white marble-clad buildings, saying it "shows that the architectural re-styling effort led by the Turkmen government has come to a high spectacular level."

Turkmenistan has developed a fixation on record-breaking. Last year, it was recognized as having the world's largest Ferris wheel in an enclosed space.

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