Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The New Seven Wonders of the World

So you think it's fun voting for an American Idol?

How would you like to vote for seven international idols, er, for the Seven Wonders of the World?

Yes, there were seven wonders of the ancient world, but six of them have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Only the Pyramids of Giza remain.

The other six? The Lighthouse of Alexandria was leveled by an earthquake; so was the Colossus of Rhodes. The Temple of Artemis was burned, the razed by Goths. Knights destroyed the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus to build a fortress. Caligula tried to steal the Statue of Zeus, and broke it. And the Hanging Gardens of Babylon... probably never even existed.

Swiss-born adventurer/filmmaker/entrepreneur Bernard Weber decided to a new list was needed. In 2000 he started the New 7 Wonders foundation, and by the end of this year, his dream will become a reality.

His idea has led to a movement involving engineers, academics, architects and former government officials, as well as 19 million Earth citizens who wanted to vote on something.

After preliminary nominations of manmade sites, 77 top vote-getters advanced to the second round. In January the list was narrowed to 21 by a panel of seven world-famous architects.

Now, you get to vote. For the price of a two-minute international phone call, you get to help decide the Seven Wonders of the World.

On January 1, 2007, the new list of the Seven Wonders of the World will be announced during a live, televised event.

The growing promotional effort has raising a lot of money. At least half the income from the project is earmarked to protect the final picks and some runners-up.

Top 21 contenders [photos]:
  • Easter Island statues, Chile

  • Machu Picchu, Peru

  • Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

  • Statue of Liberty, New York

  • Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Timbuktu, Mali

  • Alhambra, Granada, Spain

  • Stonehenge, Jamesbury, United Kingdom

  • Eiffel Tower, Paris

  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Germany

  • Colosseum, Rome

  • Acropolis, Athens

  • Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

  • Kremlin / St. Basil, Moscow

  • Petra, Jordan

  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India

  • Great Wall, China

  • Angkor, Cambodia

  • Kiyomizu Temple, Japan

  • Sydney Opera House, Australia

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This article is cross-posted on Sacred Fems.

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