New Seven Wonders of the World

For the list by USA Today/Good Morning America, see New Seven Wonders. For other uses see Wonders of the World (disambiguation)


Enlarge picture
Location of the New Seven Wonders winners.


New Seven Wonders of the World is a contemporary attempt to create an alternative to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World list. The worldwide popularity poll was organized by the private, non-profit New Open World Corporation (NOWC), with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal.[1]

The Swiss-based NOWC claims more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. Since nothing prevented fans, government or tourism agencies from casting multiple votes, the poll is considered "decidedly unscientific".[1]

NOWC relied on private donations, the sale of merchandise such as shirts and cups, and revenue from selling broadcasting rights.

The program drew a wide range of official reaction. Some countries touted their finalist and tried to get more votes cast for it, while others downplayed or criticized the contest.[1]<ref name="nwVFC" /> UNESCO has distanced itself from the undertaking.[3]

History

The origin of the idea of "seven wonders of the world" dates back to Herodotus (484 BC – 425 BC) and Callimachus (305 BC – 240 BC), who made lists which included the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandria. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing. The other six were destroyed by earthquake, fire or other reasons.[4]

Enlarge picture
The finalist candidates for the New Seven Wonders.


According to the NOWC milestones page,[5], Swiss-originated québecois businessman Bernard Weber launched the project in September 1999. The project's web site started in 2001 when Mr. Weber paid $700 for a site based in Canada.<ref name="nwVFC" /> To be included on the new list, the wonders had to be man made, completed before 2000, and in an "acceptable" state of preservation. By November 24, 2005, 177 monuments were up for consideration. On January 1, 2006, the NOWC said the list had been narrowed to 21 sites,[6] later reduced to 20 following complaints from Egypt over the Pyramids' inclusion as a candidate in competition with others.

The project assigned what it called "attributes" to each finalist, such as "perserverence" for the Great Wall of China, "passion" for the Taj Mahal, and "awe" for the Easter Island statues.

A midpoint tally reported a top 10 list which included all 7 winners, plus the Acropolis, Easter Island, and the Eiffel Tower. [7]

Federico Mayor, a former UNESCO Director General, was the president of project's expert panel as an individual.[8] NOWC is not connected with UNESCO.[9]

Organisers stated that their aim was to use part of the revenue from the contest between the well-known monuments, from future votes, related merchandise, and use of the voters database [10], to set up, or contribute to, various restoration projects in the world [11]. [12][1]

After the final announcement, however, NOWC said it didn’t earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investments.[1][11]

Winners

In alphabetical order:
Wonder Location Image
Chichen Itza Yucatán, Mexico
Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Colosseum Rome, Italy
Great Wall of China China
Machu Picchu Cuzco, Perú
Petra Jordan
Taj Mahal Agra, India
Great Pyramid of Giza
(Honorary Candidate, see below)
Cairo, Egypt


The company plans to develop a new list of seven wonders of nature through a similar process, taking nominations through August 8, 2008.

Reactions

UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a press release on June 20, 2007, reaffirmed that it has no link with the "private initiative", which it says would reflect "only the opinions of those with access to the Internet." The press release concluded:
Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

Egypt

Egyptian commentators have viewed it as competition to the status of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only surviving monument of the original Ancient Wonders. "This is probably a conspiracy against Egypt, its civilization and monuments," wrote editorialist Al-Sayed al-Naggar in a leading state-owned daily. Egyptian Culture Minister Farouq Hosni said the project was "absurd" and described its creator, Weber, as a man "concerned primarily with self-promotion." Nagib Amin, an Egyptian expert on World Heritage Sites, has pointed out that "in addition to the commercial aspect, the vote has no scientific basis."[13]

After the complaints from Egypt, the New7Wonders Foundation designated the Pyramids of Giza — the only remaining of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World — as an Honorary New7Wonders Candidate, and removed them from the voting.[14]

Brazil

In Brazil there was a campaign Vote no Cristo (Vote in the Christ) which had the support of private companies, namely telecommunications operators that stopped charging voters to make telephone calls to vote.[15] Additionally, leading corporate sponsors including Banco Bradesco and Rede Globo spent "millions" of dollars in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven.<ref name="nwVFC" /> Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive that:

Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.


By early July, around 10 million Brazilians had voted in the contest.<ref name="nwVFC" />

Chile

The Chilean representative for the Easter Island Moais, Alberto Hotus, said that the organizer, Bernard Weber, gave him a letter saying that the Moais had finished eighth and that they were "morally" one of the New Seven Wonders. Hotus said he was the only participant to receive such apology.[16]

Jordan

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the campaign to back Petra, Jordan's national treasure.<ref name="nwVFC" /> The campaign was so successful, that despite Jordan only having a population of under 7 million people, over 14 million votes were made from the country.<ref name="nwVFC" />

India

Despite having the second largest population on Earth, the Taj Mahal of India was lagging at No.14 with just 0.8% of the votes just one month before the final declaration. Gradually, a campaign to publicise the campaign in India gathered speed and it reached a crescendo in July 2007. Every news channel, radio station, and many celebrities asked people to vote. Towards the end of the campaign, 13% of all votes being cast came from India.[17]

Other finalists

The other 13 finalists,[18] listed alphabetically, were:

Wonder Location
Acropolis of Athens Athens, Greece
Alhambra Granada, Spain
Angkor Wat Angkor, Cambodia
Easter Island Moais Easter Island, Chile
Eiffel Tower Paris, France
Hagia Sophia Istanbul, Turkey
Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto, Japan
Kremlin, Red Square,
and Saint Basil's Cathedral
Moscow, Russia
Neuschwanstein Castle Füssen, Germany
Statue of Liberty New York, United States
Stonehenge Amesbury, United Kingdom
Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia
Timbuktu Mali

References

1. ^ Dwoskin, Elizabeth (2007-07-09), "Vote for Christ", Newsweek, <[2] (retrieved on 2007-07-11)
2. ^ [3]
3. ^ [4]
4. ^ New Seven Wonders named amid controversy. Retrieved on 2007-09-07.
5. ^ [5] NOWC Milestone page
6. ^ BBC News Article 2 Jan 2006
7. ^ [6]
8. ^ Madrid 2004. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
9. ^ UNESCO is not involved. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
10. ^ The New Yorker: "Buddhas for Bamiyan" Retrieved 2007-7-16
11. ^ BBC News: "More than a one-hit wonder?" Retrieved 2007-7-21
12. ^ New Seven Wonders: "The New7Wonders Foundation" Retrieved on 2007-7-18
13. ^ [7] "Egypt fumes over fresh seven wonders competition for pyramids." Article retrieved Jan. 25, 2007
14. ^ [8] NWOC Pyramids of Giza
15. ^ Sete Maravilhas: Brasil comemora eleição de Cristo Redentor (Portuguese). Retrieved on 2007-07-10.
16. ^ "Líder pascuense furioso porque le dieron a la isla un triunfo moral" Las Últimas Noticias July 10 2007
17. ^ [9] "Taj Mahal joins wonders of the world list." Article retrieved July 23, 2007
18. ^ Finalist Page

External links

Wonders of the World are lists compiled over the ages that catalogue natural and man made constructions.
  • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the popularly known ancient list.
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'Seven Wonders of the World' (or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) is a widely-known list of seven remarkable manmade constructions of classical antiquity. It was based on guide-books popular among Hellenic sight-seers and only includes works located around the
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Callimachus (Greek: ο Καλλίμαχος, 310 BC/305 BC-240 BC) was a native of Cyrene, Libya.
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Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World.
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Hanging Gardens of Babylon (also known as Hanging Gardens of Semiramis) and the walls of Babylon (near present-day Al Hillah in Iraq) are considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. They were built by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BCE.
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Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the classical Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was carved by the famed Classical sculptor Phidias (5th century BC) circa 432 BC in Olympia, Greece.
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Temple of Artemis (Greek: Ἀρτεμίσιον Artemision, Latin: Artemisium), also known less precisely as Temple of Diana
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The Tomb of Maussollos, Mausoleum of Maussollos or Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (in Greek, Μαυσωλεῖον
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Colossus of Rhodes was a huge statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
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Lighthouse of Alexandria

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Federico Mayor Zaragoza (b. 1934 in Barcelona) is a Spanish scholar and politician. He served as Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999.

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