New7Wonders of the World

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From left to right, top to bottom: Chichen Itza, Christ the Redeemer, Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra, Taj Mahal, and Colosseum.

New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) was an idea to choose new Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments.[1] The popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation in Zürich, Switzerland. Winners were announced on 7 July 2007 in Lisbon.[2][3]

The foundation took only private donations and the sale of broadcast advertising. It had no public funding or taxpayers' money. After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it did not make money and barely recovered its investment.[4]

The seven wonders of the world can be seen on various Celebrity Cruises itineraries.

Official reactions[change | change source]

The program caused different reactions from countries and organisations. Some countries praised their finalist and tried to get more people to vote for it. Others criticized the contest or did not think it was very important.[3][5]

United Nations[change | change source]

In the beginning, UNESCO helped the New7Wonders Foundation by giving advice on nominee selection. Then they decided they could not continue to help. Saying they have to give equal status to all world heritage sites, they dropped out of the program in 2001 and again in 2007.[6][7]

In 2007 the Foundation became partners with the United Nations to help promote their shared goals. The UN posted on its website:[8]

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 opinion and direct participation by voting and polling on popular global issues which are understandable to everyone.

— United Nations Office of Partnerships

But in a press release on June 20, 2007, UNESCO said again that it has no link with the "private initiative".[7]

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 8 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 cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public.


Brazil[change | change source]

In Brazil there was a campaign named Vote no Cristo (Vote for the Christ) which had the support of private companies. Among them were telecommunications workers that stopped charging voters to make telephone calls and SMS messages to vote.[9] Also, important corporate sponsors spent millions of Brazilian reals in an effort to have the statue voted into the top seven. These included a banking company (Banco Bradesco) and a television network (Rede Globo).[3] Newsweek magazine said the campaign was so widespread that:[3]

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 statue.

— Elizabeth Dwoskin, Newsweek

An article in Newsweek said that an estimated 10 million Brazilians had voted in the contest by early July.[3] An airplane message, with a huge flying sign "4916 VOTE FOR CHRIST" flew in Rio de Janeiro for a month.

Egypt[change | change source]

Egyptians were not happy that the only surviving ancient wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, would have to compete with the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, and other modern sites. "This is probably a conspiracy against Egypt, its civilization and monuments", a state-owned daily newspaper wrote.

The Minister of Culture of Egypt, Farouq Hosny said the project was "absurd". Nagib Aymin, an Egyptian expert on World Heritage Sites, said that "in addition to the commercial aspect, the vote has no scientific basis."

After the complaints from Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza were named an honarary candidate, and removed from the voting. They were listed as one of the 21 finalists[10] and given honorary status among the winners.

Voting[change | change source]

The New7Wonders Foundation said that more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. Voting by the Internet was limited to one vote for seven monuments per person. More voting was allowed by telephone. This led to criticism that the poll was not valid.[5] At the time, New7Wonders Foundation had "the largest poll on record".[3]

Winners[change | change source]

Location of the New7Wonders winners

The Great Pyramid of Giza was granted honorary status. It is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids at the Giza Necropolis in Egypt. It is also the only structure still remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Wonder Location Image Date of construction
Great Pyramid of Giza
(honorary status)
Giza Necropolis, Egypt Pyramide Kheops 2560 BC
The Great Wall of China China The Great Wall of China (Mutianyﺁ section) 700 BC
Petra Jordan The end of the Siq, with its dramatic view of Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") 312 BC
Colosseum Rome, Italy The Colosseum at dusk: exterior view of the best-preserved section 80 AD
Chichen Itza Yucatán, Mexico cordelia maxwell house 600 AD
Machu Picchu Cuzco Region, Peru Machu Picchu in Peru 1450 AD
Taj Mahal Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India Taj 1643 AD
Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro 1931 AD

References[change | change source]

  1. "How the New7Wonders movement all began - World of New7Wonders". World of New7Wonders. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  2. "The project founder Bernard Weber - A Short History - World of New7Wonders". World of New7Wonders. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Dwoskin, Elizabeth (2007-07-09). "Vote for Christ". Newsweek. ISSN 0028-9604.
  4. Amitabh Sinha (22 July 2007). "Oh Taj! 7 wonders won't get campaign money". The Indian Express. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Seven Wonders of the World, 2.0, Los Angeles Times, 2007-07-07 Retrieved 25 October 2016
  6. "New7Wonders and UNESCO: Separate organizations, common goals". World of New7Wonders. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "UNESCO confirms that it is not involved in the "New7Wonders of the World" campaign". UNESCO. July 9, 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  8. "World Votes for New7Wonders".
  9. "Sete Maravilhas: Brasil comemora eleição de Cristo Redent" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  10. NWOC Pyramids of Giza Retrieved 26 October 2016

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to New Seven Wonders of the World at Wikimedia Commons