Publishers of history books have yet another chapter to rewrite. A nonprofit organization announced last weekend its list of the new seven wonders of the world after a global poll received about 100 million votes cast over the Internet and cellular phone text messages.
The winners are the Great Wall of China, Romeís Colosseum, Indiaís Taj Mahal, Jordanís Petra, Peruís Machu Picchu, Brazilís Statue of Christ Redeemer and Mexicoís Chichen Itza pyramid all made the cut. They beat out 14 other nominated landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island in the Pacific, the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis, Russiaís Kremlin and Australiaís Sydney Opera House.
In an unusual accommodation, the only surviving example of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the pyramids of Giza, retained their status in addition to the new seven after Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete. All of the new seven wonders are still standing.
The campaign to name new wonders was launched in 1999 by the Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. Revenue generated in the polling process will be used by his foundation to preserve, restore and promote monuments around the world. Almost 200 nominations came in, and the list was narrowed to the 21 most-voted by the start of 2006. Organizers admit there was no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once.
Nevertheless, the outcome is more democratic than the original list of ancient wonders, all concentrated in the Mediterranean and Middle East. That list was derived from lists of marvels compiled by ancient Greek observers, the best known being Antipater of Sidon, a writer in the 2nd century B.C.
In addition to the pyramids at Giza, the original other seven are The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse off Alexandria. All those have vanished through the centuries.
Perhaps you missed the opportunity to submit your ballot for this poll, as we did. Fortunately, another poll is under way at the Web site www.natural7wonders.com, but this time for the seven natural wonders of the world. Results are scheduled to be announced in August next year.
So log in with your computer and cast your vote on what may be the most incredible wonder man-made wonder of them all: the World Wide Web.