Seven Wonders of the World Change

Worldwide voting chooses new wonders

Did you know all Seven Wonders of the World were chosen in 200 BC? And that one person, Byzantine philosopher Filon, chose them? All of them were located around the Mediterranean. But no more.

During the past seven years, over 100 million people worldwide have voted for a new list. On July 7, the new Seven Wonders of the World were finally announced. Now they are evenly spread around the globe.

The new Seven Wonders are: The Great Wall of China, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ Redeemer statue, Peru’s Machu Picchu, Mexico’s ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, Rome’s Colosseum, India’s Taj Mahal, and the buildings carved into the cliffs in Petra, Jordan.

A mega show staged at the Luz Stadium, in Lisbon, Portugal, announced the new wonders live to the world. Soprano Jose Carreras and singer Jennifer Lopez cheered the over 40 thousand people present at the stadium. Some of the celebrities present included Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, former United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan, first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong, and actors Ben Kingsley and Hillary Swank.

Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber initiated the campaign in 1999, nominating almost 200 sites around the globe. By 2005, voters worldwide narrowed the list to 77 sites. A group of architects then stepped in, lead by Unesco’s former general director Federico Mayor, and reduced the list further to 21 monuments.

Unfortunately, participation from the United States wasn’t so significant as in other parts of the world. As a result, despite making it to the 21-monument list, the Statue of Liberty didn’t become one of the new wonders.

Votes were cast through the Internet and cellphone text messages. Half of the money collected by the voting will be used to repair some ancient monuments. The first to benefit will the 2,000-year-old Buddha statues in Bamyan, Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the Taliban in 1999.

The Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving structures of the original Seven Wonders. They are also the oldest of that list.


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