New7Wonders of the World

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New7Wonders of the World (2000-2007) was an initiative started in 2000 as a Millennium project to choose 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 based in Zurich, Switzerland, with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon.[2][3]

The New7Wonders Foundation claimed that more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. The voting via Internet was limited to one vote for seven monuments per person/identity, via telephone multiple voting was possible,[4] so the poll was considered not scientific ("decidedly unscientific").[5] According to John Zogby, founder and current President/CEO of the Utica, New York-based polling organization Zogby International, New7Wonders Foundation drove "the largest poll on record".[3]

The program drew a wide range of official reactions. Some countries touted their finalist and tried to get more votes cast for it, while others downplayed or criticized the contest.[3][5] After supporting the New7Wonders Foundation at the beginning of the campaign, by providing advice on nominee selection, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by its bylaws having to record all and give equal status to the world heritage sites distanced itself from the undertaking in 2001 and again in 2007.[6][7]

The New7Wonders Foundation, established in 2001, relied on private donations and the sale of broadcast rights and received no public funding or taxpayers' money.[8] After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it didn't earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investment.[9]

In 2007 the foundation launched New7Wonders of Nature, which was the subject of voting until Nov. 11, 2011. New7Wonders Cities is the current project, with voting through July 2014.[10]

Winners[edit]

Location of the New Seven Wonders winners.
Wonder Location Image Year
Giza Necropolis
(honorary title)
أهرامات الجيزة
Giza, Egypt Pyramide Kheops 2589 BC
Great Wall of China
万里长城
Wànlǐ Chángchéng
China The Great Wall of china (Mutianyﺁ section) 700 BC
Petra
البتراء
Al-Batrā
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan The Monastery at Petra 312 BC
Colosseum
Colosseo
Rome, Italy The Colosseum at dusk: exterior view of the best-preserved section 70AD
Chichen Itza
Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha'
Yucatán, Mexico cordelia maxwell house 600AD
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Cuzco Region, Peru Machu Picchu in Peru 1438AD
Taj Mahal
ताज महल
تاج محل
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India Taj 1632AD
Christ the Redeemer
Cristo Redentor
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro 1926AD

The Giza Necropolis in Egypt, the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, was granted an honorary site.

Reactions[edit]

United Nations[edit]

In 2007 the New 7 Wonders Foundation contracted a partnership with the United Nations in recognition of the efforts to promote the UN's Millennium Development Goals". The UN posted on its website:[11]

The New 7 Wonders 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

However, 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". The press release concluded:[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.

—UNESCO

Egypt[edit]

This wonder of the world is 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 Aymin, 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 New 7 Wonders 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. The Pyramids of Giza therefore are the only Honorary Candidate of the New 7 Wonders of the World campaign and listed as one of the 21 Finalists.[12]

Brazil[edit]

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 and SMS messages to vote.[13] Additionally, leading corporate sponsors including Banco Bradesco and Rede Globo spent millions of reals in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven.[3] Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive 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

According to an article in Newsweek, around 10 million Brazilians had voted in the contest by early July.[3] This number is estimated as the New7Wonders Foundation never released such details about the campaign. An airplane message, with a huge inscription "4916 VOTE FOR CHRIST" flew in Rio de Janeiro for a month.

Peru[edit]

An intensive campaign led by the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in Peru had a great impact in the media and consequently Peruvian people voted massively for its national wonder. The announcement of the new World Wonders generated great expectation and the election of Machu Picchu was celebrated nationwide.

Chile[edit]

The Chilean representative for Easter Island's Moais, Alberto Hotus, said 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.[14]

India[edit]

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 for the Taj Mahal.

Jordan[edit]

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the campaign to back Petra, Jordan's national treasure.[3] 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.[3] This number is estimated as the New7Wonders Foundation never released such details about the campaign.

Mexico[edit]

There was a campaign on the news programs to encourage people to vote for Chichen Itzá.[citation needed]

Criticism[edit]

Although N7W describes itself as a not-for-profit organization the company behind it—the New Open World Corporation (NOWC)—is a commercial business. All licensing and sponsorship money is paid to NOWC and correspondence sent to entrants uses the address of a Panama-based law firm.

Other finalists[edit]

The other 14 finalists,[15] listed alphabetically, were:

Wonder Location Image Year
Acropolis of Athens Athens, Greece Acropolis of Athens 01361.JPG 447 BC
Alhambra Granada, Spain Patio de los Arrayanes Alhambra 03 2014.jpg 1333
Angkor Wat Angkor, Cambodia AngkorWat 20061209.JPG 1113
Eiffel Tower Paris, France Tour eiffel at sunrise from the trocadero.jpg 1887
Hagia Sophia İstanbul, Turkey Aya sofya.jpg 360
Kiyomizu-dera Kyoto, Japan Kiyomizu-dera beams1.JPG 1633
Moai Easter Island, Chile Ahu-Akivi-1.JPG 1250
Neuschwanstein Füssen, Germany Neuschwanstein castle.jpg 1869
Red Square Moscow, Russia Kremlin 27.06.2008 03.jpg 1561
Statue of Liberty New York, United States Statue-de-la-liberte-new-york.jpg 1886
Stonehenge Amesbury, United Kingdom Stonehenge Total.jpg 2400 BC
Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia Sydneyoperahouse.JPG 1959
Timbuktu Timbuktu, Mali Timbuktu Mosque Sankore.jpg 1327

References[edit]

External links[edit]