New wonders of the world
About 2300 years ago, a list of seven wonders were compiled. The so called wonders of the world were spectacular man-made constructions located around the Mediterranean. They were the Khufu pyramid of Giza, hanging gardens of Babylon, colossus of Rhodes, lighthouse of Alexandria, temple of Artemis, statue of Zeus in Olympia and mausoleum of Maussollos. Several of them are widely known even today but the great pyramid is the only remaining member of the original wonders.
During the decades, other buildings have sneaked their way into the list. There are also several similar lists, such as the Hillman wonders which focus on tourist attractions and a list of seven natural wonders which include Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. Modern lists often include impressive feats of engineering such as the Itaipu Dam.
In 2001 yet another initiative started the poll for a modern list of existing wonders, where 21 finalists were selected from a original selection of 200 monuments by a jury from Unesco. The finalists include varying constructions such as the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal and the Colosseum. However, I miss St. Peter’s Basilica in the list.
So far, over 60 million people have voted and many takes it very seriously. The president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has urged his countrymen to vote for the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Mexico has placed ads on soft drinks cans and a virtual version of the Mayan temple Chichen Itza has been created in Second Life.
On June 7, the official declaration of the new wonders will take place in Lisbon. Visit the official page for more information.
I’ve seen several of the new ones, but not all. Which one is your favorite?
Update: The new seven were revealed tonight during the Lisbon ceremony. But hey, you got to be kidding… The great Giza pyramid didn’t make it to the list, and neither did Angkor Vat. Instead we got items such as the Christ Redeemer statue. Come on, it’s a statue created in 1931. Is that what we call a wonder of the world these days?