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New 7 Wonders unveiled on July 7, 2007

06 Jul

Approximately 100 million people from every country in the world have voted by Internet or phone to elect these lucky 7 winners that now join the ranks of the Great Pyramids of Giza—one of the original wonders.

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt (© Corbis) 
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The only surviving structures of the original seven wonders, the three pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs 4,500 years ago. Nearby is the Great Sphinx statue.
 
Great Wall of China (© Corbis)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Great Wall of China: The 4,160-mile barricade running from east to west is the world’s longest man-made structure. The construction of the wall took place over hundreds of years, beginning in the seventh century B.C.
 
Petra, Jordan (© Petr Svarc/Getty Images) 
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Petra, Jordan: This ancient city in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around Wadi Musa, or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans. The city is famous for water tunnels and stone structures carved in the rock.
 
Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (© Glowimages/Getty Images)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Christ Redeemer Statue, Brazil: The outstretched arms of the 125-foot statue of the Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janeiro from atop 2,343-foot Mount Corcovado.
 
Machu Picchu, Peru (© Corbis)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu, Peru: Built by the Incan Empire in the 15th century, Machu Picchu’s walls, palaces, temples and dwellings are perched in the clouds at 8,000 feet above sea level in the Andes.
 
El Castillo pyramid, Chichen Itza, Mexico (© Radius Images/Jupterimages)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico: This pyramid was part of a sacred site in an important Mayan center on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Built according to the solar calendar, shadows at the fall and spring equinoxes are said to look like a snake crawling down the steps, similar to the carved serpent at the top.
 
Colosseum, Rome, Italy (© Creatas Images/Jupiterimages)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Colosseum, Italy: The 50,000-seat amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in A.D. 80 and served as the backdrop for thousands of gladiators who dueled to the death.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India (© Corbis)
WINNER—One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Taj Mahal, India: The white marble-domed mausoleum in Agra combines Indian, Persian and Islamic styles and was built by a 17th century Mogul emperor for his favorite wife, who died in childbirth.

Monuments in three Latin American countries were named among the new seven wonders of the world Saturday.

Brazil’s Statue of Christ Redeemer, Peru’s Machu Picchu, and Mexico’s Chichen Itza pyramid were chosen along with the Great Wall of China, Jordan’s Petra, the Colosseum in Rome and India’s Taj Mahal.

The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, kept their status in addition to the new seven.

The sites were selected according to a tally of around 100 million votes cast by people around the world over the Internet and by cellphone text messages, the nonprofit organization that conducted the poll said.

Landmarks that were nominated for the contest but that did not receive enough votes to place them among the final seven were the Acropolis, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the stone statues on Chile’s Easter Island, Australia’s Sydney Opera House, Cambodia’s Angkor, Spain’s Alhambra, Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, Japan’s Kiyomizu Temple, Russia’s Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, Britain’s Stonehenge and Mali’s Timbuktu.

The new list of architectural marvels were announced during a show that included appearances by American actress Hilary Swank, Indian actress Bipasha Basu, and British actor Ben Kingsley, as well as performances by Jennifer Lopez and Jose Carreras.

The campaign to pick the seven new wonders was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. His Switzerland-based foundation, called New7Wonders, received almost 200 nominations from around the world. The list of candidates was narrowed down to 21 by early last year. Voting took place over the past six years but gathered pace only in recent months.

The organizers conceded there was no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once for their favorite. They claimed votes came in from every country in the world.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, keeps updating its own list of World Heritage Sites, which now totals 851 places.

However, Paris-based UNESCO distanced itself from the seven wonders ballot, saying it reflected only the opinion of those who voted.

Weber aims to encourage cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments, and inspire people to value their heritage.

His foundation said it would use 50 percent of net revenue from the project to fund restoration efforts worldwide. One of them is a mission to rebuild the giant Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan, blown up in 2000 by the Taliban regime.

Weber said he was starting a new campaign Sunday to choose the new seven natural wonders of the world.

"If you want to save something, you first have to truly appreciate it," he told the crowd.

The original list of seven architectural marvels was collated by a variety of observers of the ancient Mediterranean and the Middle East.

However, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse off Alexandria in Egypt have all vanished.

In addition to Egypt’s Great Pyramids of Giza, the seven wonders of the world as decided by a global contest are:

Great Wall of China: The 4,160-mile barricade running from east to west is the longest man-made structure in the world. The fortification, which largely dates from the 7th through the 4th century B.C., was built to protect the various dynasties from invasion by the Huns, Mongols, Turks and other nomadic tribes.

Petra, Jordan: The ancient city of Petra in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around the Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans, a center of their caravan trade, and also continued to flourish under Roman rule after the Nabateans were defeated in A.D. 106. The city is famous for its water tunnels and numerous stone structures carved in the rock, the most impressive of which is probably Ad-Dayr, ‘the Monastery,’ an uncompleted tomb facade that served as a church during Byzantine times.

Statue of Christ Redeemer, Brazil: The 125-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer with outstretched arms overlooks Rio de Janeiro on Brazil’s Atlantic coast from atop Mt. Corcovado (the "Hunchback"). Created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski, the statue weighing more than 1,000 tons was built in pieces in France starting in 1926 and shipped to Brazil. The pieces were carried by cogwheel railway up the 2,343-foot mountain for assembly. The statue was inaugurated on Oct. 12, 1931.

Machu Picchu, Peru: Built by the Incan Empire in the 15th century, the giant walls, palaces, temples and dwellings of the Machu Picchu sanctuary are perched in the clouds at 8,000 feet above sea level on an Andean mountaintop overlooking a lush valley 310 miles southeast of Lima. It remains a mystery how the huge stones were moved into place for the construction of the remote city. 

Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico: This step pyramid surmounted by a temple survives from a sacred site that was part of one of the greatest Mayan centers of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Built according to the solar calendar, it is placed so that shadows cast at the fall and spring equinoxes are said to look like a snake crawling down the steps, similar to the carved serpent at the top. An older pyramid inside features a jade-studded, red jaguar throne.

Colosseum, Italy: The giant amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in A.D. 80 by the Emperor Titus in a ceremony of games lasting 100 days. The 50,000-seat Colosseum, which has influenced the design of modern sports stadiums, was an arena where thousands of gladiators dueled to the death, and, as tradition would have it, Christians were fed to the lions.

Taj Mahal, India: The white marble-domed mausoleum in Agra, Uttar Pradesh state, was built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. The complex—an outstanding example of Mughal architecture combining Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles—houses the graves of the emperor and his wife, as well as those of lesser Mogul royalty.

On the Net: http://www.new7wonders.com.

Slide Show: New 7 World Wonders Winners & Finalists

New 7 Wonders to be unveiled
By ELAINE ENGELER and ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writers Thu Jul 5, 3:33 PM ET

GENEVA, Switzerland – The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome and Peru’s Machu Picchu are leading contenders to be among the new seven wonders of the world, as a massive poll draws to a close with votes already cast by more than 90 million people, organizers say.

As the 8 p.m. EDT Friday voting deadline approaches, the rankings can still change. Also in the top 10 are the Acropolis in Greece, Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico, Eiffel Tower in Paris, Easter Island, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Taj Mahal in India and Jordan’s ancient city of Petra.

The winners will be announced on Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Great Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving structures from the traditional list of seven wonders of the ancient world. That list was derived from lists of marvels compiled by ancient Greek observers, the best known being Antipater of Sidon, a writer in the 2nd century B.C.

The pyramids have been assured of keeping their status in addition to the new seven wonders after indignant Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete for a spot.

The final round of the competition narrowed the field to 20 candidates, and people from every country in the world voted by Internet or phone, said the group organizing the ballot.

"It’s so exciting," said Tia B. Viering, spokeswoman for the "New 7 Wonders of the World" campaign. "There are not many things that could bring the world together like global culture … this is really something that every single person in the world can be interested in."

"This is all about bringing people together, to appreciate each other … to celebrate diversity," Viering said.

The Colosseum, the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal and Petra have been among the leaders since January, while the Acropolis and Christ the Redeemer statue made their way up from the middle of the field to the top level, according to latest tallies.

The Statue of Liberty and Sydney Opera House have been sitting in the bottom 10 since the start. Also faring poorly are Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex, Russia’s Kremlin building and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Britain’s Stonehenge and the city of Timbuktu in Mali.

The ancient city of Petra in southwestern Jordan — famous for its water tunnels and stone structures carved in the rock — jumped from the middle of the pack to the top seven in January. That was largely thanks to campaigning by the Jordanian royal family and thousands of Jordanians voting by text message over their mobile phones, Viering said.

A surge in voting from the United States, Canada and Europe in recent weeks helped those regions catch up with Latin America and Asia to make the ballot truly global, Viering said.

The campaign was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, with almost 200 nominations from around the world. The list of candidates was narrowed down to 21 by the start of 2006, then Giza was taken out of the running when it was given an automatic spot. Since organizers started a tour to each site last September, the competition has been heating up.

There is no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once for their favorite wonder, but most of the votes are cast by Internet in a system that registers each participant’s e-mail address to discourage people from voting twice, Viering said.

"We have a lot of kids (voting) and that trend is continuing … but we have votes really from every part of the population," she added.

The original list of wonders were concentrated in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Six of them no longer exist: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse off Alexandria.

After the Egyptian protest, the organizers of the campaign set the pyramids above the competition.

"We absolutely had no problem with this," Viering said. As of Saturday, there will be eight world wonders including the Pyramids of Giza, she said.

Choosing world wonders has been a fascination over the centuries. The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, keeps updating its list of World Heritage Sites, which now totals 851 places. The agency, however, is not involved in the New 7 Wonders project.

Weber’s Switzerland-based foundation aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments. It relies on private donations and revenue from selling broadcasting rights

What Will Be the New Seven Wonders? VIDEO

Spain’s Al Hambra is bidding for a place on the modern list.

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Tourists visit the Treasury, in Petra, Jordan, Friday, July 6, 2007, the monument that is carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain. The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome, Peru’s Machu Picchu and Petra are leading contenders to be among the new seven wonders of the world, as a massive poll draws to a close with votes already cast by more than 90 million people, organizers say. The winners will be announced on Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

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A general view of the hill of the Acropolis and the hill of Lycabettus in Athens, in this file photo from May 15, 2002. Peru’s Machu Picchu, Jordan’s Petra and the Acropolis were among the top contenders to be picked as the new seven Wonders of the World with just a few hours to go in a massive poll to pick the winners. (Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters)

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With the camera zoom effect, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, is seen under light show in this Monday, Feb. 5, 2007 file picture. The pyramids are the only surviving structures from the original list of seven architectural marvels. The new seven wonders of the world will be announced July 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

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A woman walks in front of the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza near the town of Valladolid, southern Mexico, Feb. 27, 2007. Chichen Itza is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)

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Stage actors dressed as Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan, right, and Queen Mumtaz Mahal pose during the opening ceremony of the 350th anniversary of the construction of the Taj Mahal, background, in Agra, India, Sept. 27, 2004. The Taj Mahal was constructed from 1632 to 1654 by Shah Jahan for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

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The ruins of Peru’s famed Machu Picchu are seen in this July, 2006, file photo. Machu Picchu is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

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This is an undated aerial view of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The Colosseum is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo)

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Members of World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) place a giant faucet near the statue of Christ the Redeemer, at Corcovado mountain, to commemorate the World Environment Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 5, 2005. Christ the Redeemer is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Renzo Gostoli)

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Marathon runners inspect the route for the eighth Great Wall Marathon, at the Great Wall of China in Kuaihuolin, China, May 17, 2007. The Great Wall of China is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

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People relax on the grass as a child paddles in a fountain of the Trocadero gardens, in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, March 20, 2005. The Eiffel Tower is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Franck Prevel)

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The ancient Parthenon temple, in the Acropolis hill, is seen in this photo from files taken on Feb. 3, 2004. The Acropolis is among the leading contenders to be the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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Tourists ride rented horses and camels at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt, a day before the Muslim Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, in this Jan. 19, 2005 file photo. The pyramids are the only surviving structures from the original list of seven architectural marvels. The new seven wonders of the world will be announced July 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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Rome’s ancient Colosseum is pictured in this April 8, 2005 file photo. From India’s Taj Mahal to Mexico’s Mayan ruins, suggestions for seven new Wonders of the World have flooded in from more than 60 million people in one of the biggest global polls ever conducted. Tia Viering, spokeswoman for the Zurich-based New 7 Wonders campaign, told Reuters June 20, 2007 that national pride has played a role in the contest’s widespread popularity. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico/Files (ITALY)

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The Moai on Easter Island in Chile is pictured in this October 31, 2003 file photo. From India’s Taj Mahal to Mexico’s Mayan ruins, suggestions for seven new Wonders of the World have flooded in from more than 60 million people in one of the biggest global polls ever conducted. Tia Viering, spokeswoman for the Zurich-based New 7 Wonders campaign, told Reuters June 20, 2007 that national pride has played a role in the contest’s widespread popularity. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files (CHILE)

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Jordanian security patrol the ancient city of Petra in this May 16, 2007 file photo. From India’s Taj Mahal to Mexico’s Mayan ruins, suggestions for seven new Wonders of the World have flooded in from more than 60 million people in one of the biggest global polls ever conducted. Tia Viering, spokeswoman for the Zurich-based New 7 Wonders campaign, told Reuters June 20, 2007 that national pride has played a role in the contest’s widespread popularity. REUTERS/Loay Aby Haykel/Files (JORDAN)

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The ancient Ankor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is seen from a balloon which enables tourists to get a bird’s eye view of the temple and the moat surrounding it, in this July 15, 2004 file photo. Ankor Wat is among the 21 candidates for the new seven wonders of the world. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)

 

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Posted by on July 6, 2007 in Travel

 

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