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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 being led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the Swissmarker-based, government-controlled New7Wonders Foundation , with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker.

The 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 (UNESCOmarker) has distanced itself from the undertaking in 2007. New7Wonders and UNESCO - separate organizations supporting common goals - new7wonders.com 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.

In 2007 the foundation has begun a similar contest, called New7Wonders 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 Gizamarker, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympiamarker, Temple of Artemismarker at Ephesusmarker, Mausoleum of Maussollosmarker at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodesmarker and Lighthouse of Alexandriamarker. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing. The other six were destroyed by earthquake, fire, or other causes.

The finalist candidates for the New Seven Wonders.


According to the New7Wonders milestone page, Swiss-originated Canadianmarker 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 UNESCOmarker. 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 UNESCOmarker.

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

Location of the New Seven Wonders winners.


In alphabetical order:
Wonder Location Image
Giza Pyramid Complexmarker

(The last remaining ancient wonder of the world)
Cairomarker, Egyptmarker
Chichen Itzamarker Yucatánmarker, Mexicomarker
Christ the Redeemermarker Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker
Colosseummarker Romemarker, Italymarker
Great Wall of China Chinamarker
Machu Picchu Cuzco, Perúmarker
Petramarker Jordanmarker
Taj Mahalmarker Agramarker, Indiamarker


Reactions

United Nations

In 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:

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:

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. However, the Great Pyramid of Giza is not featured in their official results web site.

Brazil

In Brazilmarker 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 reais in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven. Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive that:

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.

Peru

An aggressive campaign led by the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in Peru had a great impact in the media and consequently in Peruvian people that voted massively for its national wonder despite much of the Peruvian population has no Internet connection at home. The announcement of the new World Wonders generated great expectation and the election of Machu Picchu was celebrated nationwide, especially in Cusco´s main square and in Limamarker where President Alan Garcia hosted a ceremony.

Chile

The Chilean representative for the Easter Islandmarker 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.

Jordan

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the campaign to back Petra, Jordan's national treasure. 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 climax in July 2007 with news channels, radio stations, and many celebrities asking people to vote. Some mobile companies also made the messaging free for the last few days of voting.

Mexico

There was a campaign on the news programs to encourage people to vote for Chichen Itzámarker.

Other finalists

The other 13 finalists, listed alphabetically, were:

Wonder Location
Acropolis of Athensmarker Athensmarker, Greecemarker
Alhambramarker Granadamarker, Spainmarker
Angkor Watmarker Angkormarker, Cambodiamarker
Eiffel Towermarker Parismarker, Francemarker
Hagia Sophiamarker Istanbulmarker, Turkeymarker
Kiyomizu-deramarker Kyoto, Japanmarker
Moai Easter Islandmarker, Chilemarker
Red Squaremarker Moscowmarker, Russiamarker
Neuschwansteinmarker Füssenmarker, Germanymarker
Statue of Libertymarker New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker
Stonehengemarker Amesburymarker, United Kingdommarker
Sydney Opera Housemarker Sydneymarker, Australia
Timbuktumarker Malimarker


See also



References

  1. The project founder Bernard Weber - A Short History
  2. The New7Wonders Foundation & Campaign
  3. The Seven Wonders of the World, 2.0 - Los Angeles Times
  4. UNESCO confirms that it is not involved in the “New7Wonders of the World” campaign - | UNESCO.ORG
  5. new7wonders.com: "Cristiano Ronaldo supports the New7Wonders campaign"
  6. Questions & Answers by Bernard Weber on www.new7wonders.com
  7. indianexpress.com
  8. http://www.new7wonders.com/classic/en/about_us/milestones/ New7Wonders Milestone page
  9. BBC News Article 2 Jan 2006
  10. http://www.new7wonders.com/classic/en/n7w/finalists/c/PyramidsofGiza/ NWOC Pyramids of Giza
  11. Opera House fading in race to be new wonder - Travel - smh.com.au
  12. How New7Wonders has created Global Memory
  13. The New Yorker: "Buddhas for Bamiyan" Retrieved 2007-7-16
  14. BBC News: "More than a one-hit wonder?" Retrieved 2007-7-21
  15. New Seven Wonders: "The New7Wonders Foundation" Retrieved on 2007-7-18
  16. " Líder pascuense furioso porque le dieron a la isla un triunfo moral" Las Últimas Noticias July 10, 2007
  17. Finalist Page


External links




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