July 9, 2007
By Pamela Mortimer
The results of an online campaign to name the New 7 Wonders were announced on Saturday.
The online campaign to name the New Seven Wonders of the World was so popular that it generated server-crushing traffic in its final hours. Voting at the website, www.new7wonders.com, ended on Friday. The total vote count was approximately 100 million, cast by people from over 200 countries.
The results include (in no particular order):
• The Great Wall of China
• Peru's Machu Picchu
• Petra in Jordan
• Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer
• India's Taj Mahal
• Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid
• The Colosseum in Rome
The New 7 Wonders project was the brainchild of Bernard Weber, a Swiss businessman. He said that his intention was to invite the people from all over of the world to take part in selecting the world's greatest wonders.
"So that everybody can decide what the new seven wonders should be and not some government, not some individuals, not some institutions," he said.
The New 7 Wonders were announced at a star-studded event Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal that featured performances by Jennifer Lopez, Chaka Khan, and tenor Jose Carreras. Hosts included Oscar winners Hilary Swank and Ben Kingsley and Bollywood star Bipasha Basu.
"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."
Among the criteria to be considered for the competition, structures had to be built or discovered before 2000. The oldest candidate was Britain's Stonehenge; the newest was Australia's Sydney Opera House. The Statue of Liberty was also nominated. Other contenders included the Acropolis in Athens, the Eiffel Tower, Ankor in Cambodia, the Moai statues of Easter Island, Russia's Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, and Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle.
The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, are assured of keeping their status after indignant Egyptian officials proclaimed that it was a disgrace they had to compete for a place on the new list.
After the Egyptian protest, the campaign’s organizers set the pyramids above the others in 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.”
The original Seven Wonders were 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 outside Alexandria.