New7Wonders of Nature

New7Wonders of Nature is an initiative started in 2007 to create a list of seven natural wonders chosen by people through a global poll. It is being led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation, a Swiss-based, government-controlled foundation. This campaign follows the New Seven Wonders of the World, which attracted 100 million votes from around the world.


Stages of the campaign

The Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign started in 2007, immediately after the campaign to elect the man-made New Seven Wonders of the World, in which more than 100 million votes were cast. From over 440 participants representing over 220 countries and through a national qualification and race to become one of the Top 77, as well as the recommendations of the Panel of Experts lead by Prof. Federico Mayor, the list of 28 “Official Finalist Candidates” has been determined. Voting is underway and will continue throughout 2010 and into 2011. During this time, the New7Wonders World Tour is planned to visit each of the finalists to allow them to present themselves to the voters across the globe. The Official Declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature will be in 2011.

The 28 finalists

Site Country Image
Amazon Rainforest Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela Lago Chalalán - P.N. Madidi - La Paz - Bolivia .jpg
Angel Falls Venezuela Salto Angel from Raton.JPG
Bay of Fundy Canada ( New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), United States (Maine) BayofFundy.JPG
Black Forest Germany Schwarzwald 1.jpg
Bu Tinah Shoals United Arab Emirates Aerial-View-of-Bu-Tinah-Island.jpg
Cliffs of Moher Ireland Cliffs of Moher, looking north.jpg
Dead Sea Jordan, Israel Dead Sea by David Shankbone.jpg
El Yunque United States ( Puerto Rico) Pico El Yunque.jpg
Galapagos Islands Ecuador Galapagos iguana1.jpg
Grand Canyon United States ( Arizona) Grand Canyon NP-Arizona-USA.jpg
Great Barrier Reef Australia Part of Great Barrier Reef from Helecopter.JPG
Halong Bay Vietnam Ha Long Bay.jpg
Iguazu Falls Argentina, Brazil Garganta del Diablo or Devil Throat Iguazu Falls Argentina Luca Galuzzi 2005.JPG
Jeita Grotto Lebanon Jeitag3.jpg
Jeju Island South Korea Jungmun Daepo Columnar Joints with waves crashing.jpg
Kilimanjaro Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro.jpg
Komodo National Park Indonesia KomodoDragonRinca1.jpg
Maldives Maldives 405-Maldives.jpg
Masurian Lake District Poland Mikolajki jezioro mikolajskie.jpg
Matterhorn/Cervino Italy, Switzerland Matterhorn-EastAndNorthside-viewedFromZermatt landscapeformat-2.jpg
Milford Sound New Zealand Milford Sound at Sunset.jpg
Mud Volcanoes Azerbaijan Gobustan State Reserve 05.png
Puerto Princesa Underground River Philippines Caves entranceexit.jpg
Sundarbans Bangladesh, India Mudflat and clouds in Sundarbans.jpg
Table Mountain South Africa View from Signal Hill.jpg
Uluru Australia ( Northern Territory) Uluru sunset1141.jpg
Vesuvius Italy Naplesbay01.jpg
Yushan Republic of China (Taiwan) Mount Yu Shan - Taiwan.jpg

New Seven Wonders of the World

New Seven Wonders of the World

was a project that attempted to update the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World concept with a modern list of wonders. A popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the Swiss-based, government-controlled New7Wonders Foundation, with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The New7Wonders Foundation claimed that more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. Nothing prevented multiple votes, so the poll was considered “decidedly unscientific”.  According to John Zogby, founder and current President/CEO of the Washington-based polling organization Zogby International, New7Wonders Foundation drove “the largest poll on record”.

The program drew a wide range of official reaction. Some countries touted their finalist and tried to get more votes cast for it, while others downplayed or criticized the contest. 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) distanced itself from the undertaking in 2007.After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it didn’t earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investment. The New7Wonders Foundation, established in 2001, relied on private donations and the sale of broadcast rights and received no public funding or taxpayers’ money.

In 2007 the foundation launched a similar contest, called New7Wonders of Nature, which will be the subject of voting until the summer of 2011.


History

The origin of the idea of seven wonders of the world dates back to HerodotusCallimachus (305 BC – 240 BC), who made lists which included the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandria. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing. The other six were destroyed by earthquake, fire, or other causes.[9] (484 BC – 425 BC) and

The finalist candidates for the New Seven Wonders.

According to the New7Wonders milestone page, Swiss-originated Canadian filmmaker and aviator Bernard Weber launched the project in September 1999. The project’s web site started in 2001 when Mr. Weber paid $700 for a site based in Canada. To be included on the new list, the wonders had to have been built before 2000 and in an acceptable state of preservation. By November 24, 2005, 177 monuments were up for consideration. On January 1, 2006, the New7Wonders Foundation said the list had been narrowed to 21 sites, by its panel of seven world leading architects from five continents: Zaha Hadid, Cesar Pelli, Tadao Ando, Harry Seidler, Aziz Tayob, Yung Ho Chang and its President, Prof. Federico Mayor, the former Director General of UNESCO. The list was later reduced to 20 removing the Pyramids of Giza — the only remaining of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World — from the voting and designating it an Honorary New7Wonders Candidate.

The project assigned what it called attributes to each finalist, such as perseverance for the Great Wall of China, passion for the Taj Mahal, and awe for the Easter Island statues.

A midpoint tally reported a top 10 list which included all 7 winners, plus the Acropolis, Easter Island, and the Eiffel Tower.

Federico Mayor, a former UNESCO Director General, was the president of project’s expert panel as an individual. New7Wonders is not connected with UNESCO.

Many monuments were supported by dedicated websites or strong placements on national websites. National figures and celebrities promoted the New7Wonders campaign in many countries. New7Wonders stated that it saw its goal of global dialogue and cultural exchange as having been achieved, thanks to the sheer number of votes cast and the geographical and cultural diversity of the voters registered.

The theme song of the contest was written by Tony Jameson of the UK medieval folk/rock band, The Dolmen. Members of the band performed the song live at the Lisbon ceremonies.

Winners

Location of the New Seven Wonders winners.

In alphabetical order:

Wonder Location Image
Giza Pyramid Complex
(The last remaining wonder of the ancient world)
Egypt Cairo, Egypt Pyramide Kheops
Chichen Itza
Chi’ch’èen Ìitsha’
Mexico Yucatán, Mexico El Castillo being climbed by tourists
Christ the Redeemer
O Cristo Redentor
Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Colosseum
Colosseo
Italy Rome, Italy The Colosseum at dusk: exterior view of the best-preserved section
Great Wall of China
萬里長城 Wànlǐ Chángchéng
People's Republic of China China The Great Wall in the winter
Machu Picchu
Machu Pikchu
Peru Cuzco, Perú
View of Machu Picchu
Petra
al-Batrāʾ
البتراء
Jordan Jordan
The Treasury at Petra
Taj Mahal
ताज महल
India Agra, India Taj Mahal

Reactions

United Nations

In 2007 the New7Wonders Foundation contracted a partnership with the United Nations in recognition of the efforts to promote the UN’s Millennium Development Goals“. The UN stated:

The New7Wonders campaigns aim to contribute to the process of uplifting the well being and mutual respect of citizens around the world, through encouraging interaction, expression of opinion and direct participation by voting and polling on popular themes and global issues which are understandable to everyone.[19]

UNESCO

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”, which it says would reflect “only the opinions of those with access to the Internet“. The press release concluded:

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 7 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.[6]

Egypt

Egyptian commentators have viewed it as competition to the status of the Great Pyramid of Giza, 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 Amin, 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 New7Wonders 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. However, the Great Pyramid of Giza is not featured in their official results web site.

Brazil

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. Additionally, leading corporate sponsors including Banco BradescoRede Globo spent millions of reais in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven. Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive that: and

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.[3]

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.

Peru

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, especially in Cusco´s main square and in Lima where President Alan Garcia hosted a ceremony.

Chile

The Chilean representative for the Easter Island Moais Alberto Hotus said that the organizer Bernard 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.[21]

Jordan

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.

India

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. Some mobile companies also made the messaging free for the last few days of voting.

Mexico

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

Other finalists

The other 13 finalists,[22] listed alphabetically, were:

Wonder Location Image
Acropolis of Athens Greece Athens, Greece Acropolis of Athens 01361.JPG
Alhambra Spain Granada, Spain Patio de los Arrayanes.jpg
Angkor Wat Cambodia Angkor, Cambodia Angkor Wat W-Seite.jpg
Eiffel Tower France Paris, France Tour eiffel at sunrise from the trocadero.jpg
Hagia Sophia Turkey İstanbul, Turkey Aya sofya.jpg
Kiyomizu-dera Japan Kyoto, Japan Kiyomizu-dera beams1.JPG
Moai Chile Easter Island, Chile Ahu-Akivi-1.JPG
Red Square Russia Moscow, Russia Kremlin 27.06.2008 03.jpg
Neuschwanstein Germany Füssen, Germany Neuschwanstein castle.jpg
Statue of Liberty United States New York, USA Statue-de-la-liberte-new-york.jpg
Stonehenge United Kingdom Amesbury, United Kingdom Stonehenge Total.jpg
Sydney Opera House Australia Sydney, Australia Sydneyoperahouse.JPG
Timbuktu Mali Timbuktu, Mali Timbuktu Mosque Sankore.jpg
Comments
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