Surprisingly, Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, the only existing member of the original Seven Wonders of the World list, didn’t make the cut this time around. Thor wrote about this controversy in an earlier posting found here. Other losers included the Statues of Easter Island, the Acropolis in Greece, New York’s Statue of Liberty, England’s Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Japan’s Kiyomizu Temple.
The New Seven Wonders were announced during an Official Declaration ceremony held in Lisbon, Spain on July 7, 2007, hosted by actors Ben Kingsley and Hillary Swank.
Bernard Weber, a Swiss filmmaker came up with the idea for new wonders list in 2001, after the Taliban in Afghanistan had toppled the huge Buddha statues at Bamiyan. Part of the funds garnered by the dedication ceremony will go to rebuilding those giant sculptures.
Not everyone shares Weber’s enthusiasm, however. Christian Manhart, press officer for UNESCO, the UN body for cultural oversight, complained that the list should have included more.
“All of these wonders obviously deserve a place on the list, but what disturbs us is that the list is limited to just seven," he said. “Seven were adequate in antiquity because the antique world was much smaller than today.”
The original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were all located in an area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. That list was comprised around 200 BC.
Egypt’s head of antiquities, Zahi Hawass was unimpressed by neither the new list, nor by it’s failure to include the Great Pyramids of Giza.
"This contest will not detract from the value of the pyramids, which is the only real wonder of the world," he said. "This competition has no value because it is not the masses who write history."