10 July, 2007


After a worldwide poll, the New Seven Wonders of the World were officially announced in Lisbon on Saturday (07/07/07, get it?).

From a field of twenty finalists, which included Australia's Sydney Opera House, the winning seven were:
The Great Wall, China
Petra, Jordan
Christ Redeemer, Brazil
Machu Picchu, Peru
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India
The Pyramids at Giza were removed from this finalist list after considerable controversy. Since the Pyramids are the only surviving original Wonder of the Ancient World, it was decided that it was unfair for them to be competing with the proposed New Wonders.

So what do we think of the final results? I for one am always dubious of online polls such as this one. The organisers used all the available measures to ensure fair voting (all voters had to be registered members, etc.) ...however I'm sure there are always people who find ways to get around the rules.

I'm a bit surprised by how strongly Central/South America is represented in the winning Seven, although that's by no means to say that the sites in Mexico, Peru or Brazil are not worthy choices. The Great Wall of China, The Roman Colosseum and India's Taj Mahal are obvious picks, and I'm absolutely thrilled that Petra made the list. (I like to imagine what it must have felt like for Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, exploring what was thought to be a featureless, stiflingly hot valley near the Dead Sea, only to discover an astonishingly beautiful and ancient city carved into the very cliffs!)

Of course, it's impossible to judge without personally visiting every option, but I'm rather surprised that things like Stonehenge, the Easter Island Statues and especially the Acropolis failed to win the popular vote. Meanwhile, though I'm sure some Australians will be upset, I'm not at all miffed that the Sydney Opera House failed to score a spot in the Seven; it's a beautiful piece of architecture for sure, but ranked alongside The Great Wall and Machu Piccu? I think not.

It shames me that I haven't seen any of the New Seven Wonders, and only three of the finalists. I would so dearly love to visit all the nominated places - winners and finalists - to experience these amazing symbols of human heritage, and to discover a taste of the varied and fascinating cultures that created them.



Blogger lili said...

Chichén Itzá sounds like something you might order at Nandos.

"Can I have a Chichén Itzá with Peri Peri sauce and a medium chips?"

I am such a philistine. Le sigh.

July 10, 2007 3:21 pm  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

Duh, Lili - It's Mexican, not Portuguese (or whatever Nando's is). So clearly you'd need to order it at Taco Bill, not Nando's.

July 13, 2007 7:51 am  
Blogger TimT said...

The Seven Chunders of the World:

Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.
Federation Square, Melbourne.

Did I miss any?

July 18, 2007 10:35 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home