The campaign to choose the new seven biggies was launched by a Swiss foundation in 1999. Any money raised by the foundation will be used to recreate the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan that were destroyed by the Taleban.
UNESCO, however, has rejected the new seven wonders concept as ‘neither democratic nor scientific‘ since the wonders were voted for by the masses, with some countries vigorously encouraging citizens to vote for their indigenous wonders (notably Brazil and China) while other countries ignored the process completely.
Thus the Seven New Wonders of the World amazingly include the statue of Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Rome’s Colosseum (Italy). But not The Acropolis (Athens, Greece), Stonehenge (England), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Easter Island‘s moai (Chile) or even the Great Pyramid of Giza (Cairo, Egypt), though in the latter case the foundation has made an exception and agreed to retain its heroic status as a special case.
Taj Mahal photo by Steve Evans.