May 21, 2007 On the seventh of July – the seventh of the seventh, 2007 to be exact – it will be out with the old and in with the...old. Bernard Weber and the N7W committee have organised a ceremony in Lisbon to unveil the new seven wonders of the world. It will be a truly international event, designed to transcend differences in politics and culture and focus on humanity’s crowning achievements. And although the structures themselves are the focus of the event, the fact that, so far, over 40 million online and mobile phone votes have been cast for something that isn’t Big Brother is so comforting it is almost worthy of a second celebration.
The new seven wonders project was launched in 2000, in recognition of the fact that, of the original seven wonders, only the Pyramids of Giza were extant. However, Weber is also viewing the new seven wonders project as a chance to make the concept more inclusive. Unlike the previous seven wonders, which were concentrated around the Mediterranean, the new seven wonders are truly global in range. In the new list, icons as old as the Acropolis are alongside the Statue of Liberty and the Sydney Opera House - historical Johnny Come Latelys. With half of the profits from the campaign to be donated to monument preservation and restoration, Weber wishes to highlight our shared heritage and promote historical and cultural education. On the official site, Fredericon Mayor, head of the panel of judges, states that “New7Wonders is about beauty, and beauty is moving. What we need today is to struggle against indifference!”
Twenty-one monuments remain on the shortlist; it is up to voting web users to make sure their favourite makes the cut. Of course, the incentive to see a particular icon rise to the top may not be entirely culturally based. Voting site Wager Web is offering odds on each of the candidates. While betting on hot favourite “Pyramids of Giza”, (1/40), may not yield much profit, if the Sydney Opera House makes a late comeback it could please more than just classical music fans. Wager Web is also taking bets on which continent will contain the most new wonders – though, for the sake of the bet, South America stretches from Argentina to Mexico.
The combination of heritage, modern day technology, and people all over the world truly is a worthy accomplishment. “With New7Wonders we can contribute to a project which involves people of all continents, cultures, and features their different visions in different periods as a catalyst for a more peaceful world,” Mayor says.