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The World's New 7 Wonders

Aug 17, 2007
The New 7 Wonders Campaign, which will end with the grand decision, on the 7th day, of the 7th month, of the 7th year of the new Millenium, in Lisbon Portugal.

The World's New 7 Wonders

The importance of World Heritage

Lisbon, March 31st, 2007 - Man is no longer judged by his past, we find ourselves valuing one another rather by where we are going than where we've come from, and on top of it all, what seems to actually define us, is what we wear, the phone we use, the car we drive and other non-lasting trends. Well, that's the 21st Century for you! So what do we have to show for our existence through time? World Heritage is certainly one thing.

May people wouldn't know what the Olympic Games are if it wasn't for Pierre de Courbertin, who brought them back to life in 1896. World Heritage is our past, explanation of our present lives, the foundation for our future and living proof of our culture and legacy.

Here are some examples of what defines who we are and makes us different from one another: In Portugal, from the Tower of Belem to the Jeronimos Monastery, in France, from the Notre Dame to the Palace of Versailles, in Italy, from the Pisa Tower to the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, and many, many more examples of World Heritage.

This is surely a shared opinion and it's nothing you haven't thought of before. Heard of the World's 7 Wonders?

- The Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, destroyed by an earthquake
- The Temple of Artemis in ancient Ephesus, known today as Turkey, destroyed by successive invasions and an earthquake
- The Statue of Zeus in Greece, destroyed by an earthquake
- The Colossus of Rhodes in Greece, cracked by an earthquake
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the arid Mesopotamian desert, destroyed by invading armies
- The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in southwestern Asia, ordered to be destroyed as a form of art
- The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the only 7 ancient world wonder to still exist.

Six of the seven ancient wonders no longer exist, and the importance of World Heritage is greater than most people imagine. So, quite like Pierre de Courbertin revived the Olympic Games, Bernard Weber is the face behind the revival of the 7 Wonders.

Under the motto "Our Heritage is our Future", Swiss filmmaker, aviator and explorer, Bernard Weber created the New 7 Wonders Foundation. A Foundation created to call attention to the Heritage around the World, through the maintenance, reconstruction, restorations and documentation.

Based in the Heidi - Weber - Museum, in Zurich, the New 7 Wonders Foundation put together a judge panel of 7 specialists: architect Cessar Pelli, arquitect Harry Seidle, first female winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Zaha Habid, Pritzker Prize architect Tadao Ando, contemporary architect Yung Ho Chang, and first non-white architect in South Africa Aziz Tayod.

This panel carefully analyzed 77 of the most voted World Heritage sites and narrowed them down to 21 nominees to be The World's New 7 Wonders.

- The Acropolis of Athens, in Greece
- Alhambra, in Spain
- Ankor, in Cambodia
- The Pyramid of Chichen Itza, in Mexico
- Christ Redeemer, in Brazil
- The Roman Colosseum, in Italy
- The Statues of Easter Island, in Chile
- The Eiffel Tower, in France
- The Great Wall, in Chine
- Hagia Sophia, in Turkey
- The Kiyomizu Temple, in Japan
- Machu Picchu, in Peru
- The Neuschwanstein Castle, in Germany
- Petra, in Jordan
- The Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt
- The Statue of Liberty, in the United States of America
- Stonehenge, in the United Kingdom
- The Kremlin and Red Square, in Russia
- The Sydney Opera House, in Australia
- The Taj Mahal, in India
- Timbuktu, in Mali

This has given way to The New 7 Wonders Campaign, which will end with the grand decision, on the 7th day, of the 7th month, of the 7th year of the new Millenium, in Lisbon Portugal.

Lisbon's streets will also take part in this campaign, having the 21 finalists represented by metal statues painted by a variety of artists. Terreiro do Paco, Portugal's historical Commerce Square (Praca do Comercio), will have the largest Mosaic in the World, put together by every vote carefully glued to a small tile, in a 200mx200m area, the equivalent to 100 million votes.

19 million people have voted so far, by sms, telephone and internet, contributing to the reconstruction of the Buddha's of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, which is the destiny of half of the election's revenues.

The whole World has been invited to take part in this campaign, and the effect has been amazing. Each of the nominated countries has valued themselves by recognizing their cultural history, manifesting the feeling through various campaigns appealing to all tourists to come and visit their country.

It is interesting to note that even the countries that weren't nominated, argue that what they have to show of their history is richer than the actual nominees. Portugal, example, decided to create their own 7 Wonders Campaign, put together only by Portuguese World Heritage Sites.

For a moment in history we are recognizing the value of our past in detriment to what many techniques, like advertising and marketing have made us to believe what characterizes people. Hopefully this world event will mark a turning point in time.

To complete the experience and extend sensations in an unforgettable manner, choose the best charming destinations of the region for an accommodation that are guaranteed to prolong the emotions.
About the Author
Jose Felix is the Marketing and Communications Manager for ARTEH?, the Best Independent Hotel Chain - Publituris Awards.

To visit the Hotels or make your reservations please go to ARTEH? - Hotels and Resorts.
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