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."
You see, the Ancient Pyramids of Giza are the only remaining original wonders of the world that are still standing. They’re now included in the new poll of the new wonders of the world. But the Egyptians think they shouldn’t have to re-earn a spot on the new list.
I have to admit I’m very skeptical about this process. It’s an Internet vote open to anyone. You can participate by going to www.new7wonders.com. Voting runs until July 7.
To refresh your memory, the original Seven Wonders of the World included the pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
The new contenders for the World Wonder status are the Acropolis, Greece; Hagia Sophia, Turkey; the Colosseum, Italy; Neushwanstein Castle, Germany; Stonehenge, England; Alhambra, Spain; Kioumizu Temple, Japan; Sydney Opera House, Australia; Taj Mahal, India; Statute of Christ, Brazil; Machu Picchu, Peru; Statue of Liberty, USA; Effiel Tower, France; Great Wall of China; the Kremlin, Russia; Angkor, Cambodia; Petra, Jordan; Easter Island statues, Chile; and Chichen Itza, Mexico.
I have to admit I’m not familiar with all the places on this list. And some seem kind of out of place to me. Here are the seven I’d place my votes for:
Easter Island statues, Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, the Acropolis, Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza and of course, the Giza Pyramids. I guess those the are the things that really make me wonder “How did they do that?”
Which seven would/will you vote for? Should the pyramids get a free pass onto the new list? Share your thoughts here about this new effort.