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+ Seven Wonders of World


New Seven Wonders of the World is a project that attempts to revive the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World concept with a list of modern wonders. A popularity poll was organized by the private New7Wonders Foundation, with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation claims more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. Nothing prevented multiple votes, so the poll is considered "decidedly unscientific". According to John Zogby, founder and current President/CEO of the Washington-based polling organization Zogby International, New7Wonders Foundation drove "the largest poll on record".

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. After supporting the New7Wonders Foundation at the beginning of the campaign, with providing advice on nominee selection, The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has distanced itself from the undertaking in 2007. Many monuments were supported by dedicated websites or strong placements on national websites. National figures and celebrities promoted the New7Wonders campaign in many countries. New7Wonders has stated that it sees its goal of global dialogue and cultural exchange as having been achieved, thanks to the sheer number of votes cast and the geographical and cultural diversity of the voters registered. The New7Wonders Foundation, established in 2001, has relied on private donations and the sale of broadcast rights and has never accepted any public funding or taxpayer money. After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it didn't earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investments. Bernard Weber, president of the New7Wonders Foundation, called the voting for the New 7 Wonders of the World, the first worldwide democratic exercise in mankind's history. In 2007 the foundation has begun a similar contest, called New Seven Wonders of Nature, with nominees solicited through December 31, 2008. The 21 finalists will then be the subject of voting until the summer of 2010.

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 causes.

According to the New 7 Wonders milestones page, Swiss-originated Canadian filmmaker and aviator 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. 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 New7Wonders Foundation said the list had been narrowed to 21 sites, by a panel of six of world leading architects from five continents, such as Zaha Hadid, Cesar Pelli, Tadao Ando, Harry Seidler, Aziz Tayob, Yung Ho Chang and its President, Prof. Federico Mayor, the former Director General of UNESCO. The list was later reduced to 20 removing the Pyramids of Giza - the only remaining of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World - from the voting and designating it an Honorary New7Wonders Candidate. The project assigned what it called attributes to each finalist, such as perseverance 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. Federico Mayor, a former UNESCO Director General, was the president of project's expert panel as an individual. New7Wonders is not connected with UNESCO. Organisers stated that the primary goal of the campaign is to foster and encourage global exchange and intercultural appreciation. In addition, what New7Wonders calls "Global Memory" was created, meaning 7 things that everyone worldwide can remember and share. Also New7Wonders wants 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, to set up, or contribute to, various restoration projects in the world. A goal of New7Wonders has always been "raising awareness about the world's unique cultural heritage sites (...) Getting that message across would be something of a wonder on its own" according to Newsweek and MSNBC, July 5, 2007.

Winners

Wonder Location Image
Chichen Itza Flag of Mexico Yucatán, Mexico El Castillo being climbed by tourists
Christ the Redeemer Flag of Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Colosseum Flag of Italy Rome, Italy The Colosseum at dusk: exterior view of the best-preserved section
Great Wall of China Flag of the People's Republic of China China The Great Wall in the winter
Machu Picchu Flag of Peru Cuzco, Perú
View of Machu Picchu
Petra Flag of Jordan Jordan
The Treasury at Petra
Taj Mahal Flag of India Agra, India Taj Mahal
And one listing has honorary status:Great Pyramid of Giza
(The last remaining ancient wonder of the world)
Flag of Egypt Cairo, Egypt Pyramide Kheops


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United States

n 2007 the New7Wonders Foundation contracted a partnership with the United Nations in recognition of the efforts to promote the UN's Millennium Development Goals". The UN stated:

" The New7Wonders campaigns aim to contribute to the process of uplifting the well being and mutual respect of citizens around the world, through encouraging interaction, expression of opinion and direct participation by voting and polling on popular themes and global issues which are understandable to everyone."

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:

" There is no comparison between Mr. Weber's mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The list of the 7 New Wonders of the World will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the Internet and not the entire world. This initiative

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".

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.

Brazil

In Brazil there was a campaign Vote no Cristo (Vote for the Christ) which had the support of private companies, namely telecommunications operators that stopped charging voters to make telephone calls to vote. 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. Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive that: " One morning in June, Rio de Janeiro residents awoke to a beeping text message on their cell phones:

"Press 4916 and vote for Christ. It's free!" The same pitch had been popping up all over the city since late January-flashing across an electronic screen every time city-dwellers swiped their transit cards on city buses and echoing on TV infomercials that featured a reality-show celebrity posing next to the city's trademark Christ the Redeemer statute."

According to an article in Newsweek, around 10 million Brazilians had voted in the contest by early July. This number is estimated as the New7Wonders Foundation never released such details about the campaign.

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 were "morally" one of the New Seven Wonders. Hotus said he was the only participant to receive such an apology

China

In forefront of the Olympic Games in Bejing 2008, according to state media, authorities gave English lessons to 400,000 taxi drivers, hotel employees and all Olympic volunteers. Among others they learned the phrase: "Welcome to Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. I recommend visiting the Great Wall - it is one of the 7 wonders of the world"

Jordan

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the campaign to back Petra, Jordan's national treasure.[1] Despite Jordan only having a population of under 7 million people, it has been claimed that over 14 million votes were made from the country. This number is estimated as the New7Wonders Foundation never released such details about the campaign.

India

A campaign to publicize the campaign in India gathered speed and it reached a crescendo in July 2007 with news channels, radio stations, and many celebrities asking people to vote.

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