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The eighth wonder of the world July 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News, Vote For 7New Wonders.
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It is unclear exactly what the criteria were in the recent competition for the selection of the “new seven wonders of the world”, an online poll that attracted such worldwide interest.

Was it the size of the monuments that influenced the vote? Was it how imposing those monuments were deemed to be? Or perhaps it was their recognizability? Maybe the population of the countries where the monuments are located played a role in the voting process. It is not unlikely that a certain form of “monumental patriotism” drove a large proportion of the population in many countries to send in their votes. But it is strange that such a fever did not sweep along many Greeks, who once set the top spot in the Eurovision song contest as a National goal.

Certainly the contest did not judge the artistic value of the monuments. On the one hand, this cannot be assessed by any opinion poll. But on the other, how can one compare the reinforced concrete and soapstone statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro with India’s Taj Mahal. Furthermore, the contest did not consider the contribution made by each monument toward shaping civilization. The Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru may be striking and beautiful but they had a relatively small impact on modern civilization, as they were only discovered about a century ago.

In the final analysis, the greatest miracle of this contest was its organization. Let’s consider that for a moment: A private company managed without any help from national or international organizations, to coordinate an international ballot that attracted 100 million people. A contest that some may have regarded as silly drew the active participation of 1.6 percent of the world’s population.

According to estimates by international organizations, a quarter of the world’s entire population heard about the initiative before the results of online polling were announced during a ceremony in Lisbon.

Ministers of European Union member states found themselves obliged to make statements, albeit discrediting ones. I am not just referring to Greece’s Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, who makes statements at every given opportunity but to also his French counterpart Christine Albane, and others.

In a few years, no one will remember the results of this contest. It was a “media event” which will be forgotten like so many others before it. It was useful though, as it highlighted a real miracle: the technology we possess in our offices and homes. And this is the eighth and greatest wonder of our modern world. We do not see it because it is constantly before our eyes.

It is this same wonder that mobilized so many Greeks to protest the destruction wrought upon Mount Parnitha.

Related Reading > The Power of the (wired) masses.

UNESCO wonders July 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Vote For 7New Wonders.
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The United Nations Organization for Culture yesterday blasted a private initiative that drew nearly 100 million internet and telephone voters to choose seven «new» wonders of the world.

«This campaign responds to other criteria and objectives than that of UNESCO in the field of heritage,» said Sue Williams, the spokeswoman for UNESCO, the UN cultural body that designates world heritage sites. «We have a much broader vision,» she told AFP.

Voters chose the Great Wall of China, India’s Taj Mahal, the centuries-old pink ruins of Petra in Jordan, the Colosseum in Rome, the statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico. Short-listed sites that missed the final cut included the Acropolis in Athens.

In the meantime, Greece, France hit out at ‘new’ seven wonders.

Greece and France hit out on Monday at the naming over the weekend of seven “new” wonders of the world after neither the Eiffel Tower nor the Acropolis made it onto the list.

“Monuments do not have to parade on a podium like in a beauty contest,” Greek Culture Minister Georgios Voulgarakis told a news conference.

The private initiative, voted on by 100 million people around the world by Internet or phone ahead of a huge ceremony on Saturday in Portugal, “has nothing to do with the true value of monuments,” Voulgarakis said.

A French foreign ministry spokeswoman said that France preferred the way UNESCO, the UN body for culture, chose its world heritage sites.

“France prefers the conception of UNESCO, which has included on its world heritage list 851 sites including 31 in France,” spokeswoman Pascale Andreani said.

Apart from the Acropolis and Eiffel Tower, among the other monuments that did not make the final list are the Easter Island Statues, Britain’s Stonehenge and New York’s Statue of Liberty.

EDITOR’S COMMENT > If and in case the Greek Acropolis was voted among the “new” 7 wonders, it is true that being a human I would feel much Pride.

However, the Ancient and original 7 Wonders of the World, including the Greek Acropolis, have lost nothing to their charm nor to their title as the 7 Wonders of the World. And they are still here, in this modern world of ours, at least all those still standing and living, no matter of what they have gone through the ages since their original foundations.

Being a Proud Greek (please do allow me to use this phrase), with a rich Greek Heritage, I know one thing. That is >

Everyday, I have the priviledge to pass-by the Acropolis, and admire what my ancient ancestors built and left us as a legacy.

Greece and the Acropolis, may have not made it to the new, modern list but I know this fact does not matter or affect Acropolis charm. Acropolis will always be standing there, on the Sacred Rock, with Parthenon emitting its Light to the whole mankind, to the whole world. Acropolis is emitting its Bright Light showing to the world, that, this country, Greece is the craddle of Democracy and Civilization.

What it matters to me and the Greek Nation is to be able and keep that Light emitting through the ages to come. To respect that Light and be able to pass it over to the world, in the correct way, like an Olympic Games Torch, and to show and to share with the world, that, we, the modern Greeks respect our ancient ancestor’s history and legacy. And we learn from it. So that, we shall be leaving our own legacy to the generations to come.

New Wonders Of The World named after online poll July 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For 7New Wonders.
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The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan and Brazil’s statue of Christ the Redeemer are among the modern day seven wonders of the world.

The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan and Brazil’s statue of Christ the Redeemer are among the modern day seven wonders of the world chosen in a poll of 100 million online voters, organisers said on Saturday. The other four are Peru’s Machu Picchu, the mountain settlement that symbolises the Incan empire, Mexico’s Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, the Colosseum in Rome and the Taj Mahal in India.

The seven winners were announced at a glitzy show at the Benfica stadium in Lisbon after what is likely to be the biggest online poll at new7wonders com. “Never before in history have so many people participated in a global decision,” actress Hilary Swank said at the presentation.

The traditional seven wonders of the world all existed more than 2,000 years ago and were all in the Mediterranean region. Only one remains standing today, the Pyramids of Giza. The originals were selected by one man, ancient Greek writer Antipater of Sidon.

The New 7 Wonders of the World organisers say the contest was a chance to level the global cultural playing field and recognise the achievements of societies outside Europe and the Middle East. Only one European site, the Colosseum, was picked. The Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis had also been contenders.

Many Portuguese enjoying the glitzy presentation, which included break-dancing and singing by tenor Jose Carreras and pop star Jennifer Lopez, backed the choice of new wonders. At Chichen Itza, in Rio de Janeiro and in Peru, the three winners in Latin America, people cheered, danced and applauded when their sites were selected.

Critics, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), have said world wonders should not be chosen in a popular vote.

The New 7 Wonders organisation, established by Swiss-Canadian Bernard Weber, will use half its revenues to fund restoration efforts worldwide, including recreating the Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan.

Global poll for the world’s new 7 wonders July 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For 7New Wonders.
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The Great Wall of China, Greece’s Acropolis and Peru’s Machu Picchu were leading contenders to be named among the new seven wonders of the world in a global poll whose results were to be announced Saturday.

The winners were to be announced in Lisbon, Portugal. People throughout the world voted by Internet or phone message for the world’s top architectural marvels, said New7Wonders, the group conducting the balloting. The campaign was launched in 1999 by the Swiss Bernard Weber. Almost 200 nominations came in, and the list was narrowed to the 21 most-voted by the start of 2006. 

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, keeps a list of World Heritage Sites, which now totals 851 places, but the agency was not involved in Weber’s project.

Countdown starts to find modern 7 global wonders > A new, modern list of the seven wonders of the world is being released Saturday in a lavish ceremony in Lisbon. 

The current list was drafted by Greek writer Antipater of Sidon, but this one has the input of 90 million people, according to organizers, who say that’s how many people cast votes online, by phone and by text message over a year and a half.

Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete for a spot, so the pyramids at Giza will retain their status as an ancient wonder. Adding seven new wonders will make for a total of eight once polls close. Egyptian officials have dismissed the contest as nothing more than as a commercial affair.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has also distanced itself. It says highlighting the sentimental value of a few sites is not enough and that results of the voting will only reflect the opinions of those with access to the Internet.

Unesco, which awards World Heritage status to historical sites worldwide and oversees their maintenance, has snubbed the awards as have some governments. Unesco, for its part, confirmed that it had been invited to support the project on several occasions, but had decided not to collaborate. A statement released by the Organisation concludes:

“There is no comparison between Mr Weber’s mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on Unesco’s World Heritage List. The list of the ‘7 New Wonders of the World’ will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the internet and not the entire world. This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public.”

Meanwhile, the Unesco World Heritage Committee met last week in Christchurch, New Zealand, and added 22 sites to the World Heritage List. The new additions range from the Rainforests of the Atsinanana in Madagascar to the old town of Corfu in Greece. You can see the new additions on the Unesco website > http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/365

Portugal’s President is to attend the world wonders ceremony, hosted by Oscar-winning actors Ben Kingsley and Hilary Swank, and Bollywood star Bipasha Basu. Spanish tenor José Carreras and American singer Jennifer Lopez will be performing. Tickets to the event, to be staged at Benfica’s Stadium of Light, will cost up to £75 and Christiano Ronaldo, Jose Carreras, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Kingsley will be among the guests.

Related Links > http://www.new7wonders.com

Vote for the Acropolis by July 7! July 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For 7New Wonders.
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The Greek diaspora is being urged to support and vote for the Acropolis to ensure it is added to the New 7 Wonders of the World, as part of a project organized by the New7Wonders Foundation.

Please go to www.new7wonders.com to vote. You can also vote by SMS by dialing +423 663 90 02 99 or +44 870 062 3748 and selecting Acropolis by pressing Code 01. You can vote for two of the 21 final candidates.

The world will discover which monuments have been named as the New 7 Wonders of the World during the official declaration ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday July 7, 2007.

Please support Greece by voting for The Acropolis!

For more information visit www.new7wonders.com

Please support > Vote for The Acropolis, Greece June 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For 7New Wonders.
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In the top 10 is Greece’s Acropolis, among the leading contenders to become the new seven wonders of the world as a massive poll enters its final weeks with votes already cast by more than 50 million people.

The voting deadline is July 6. The winners will be announced July 7 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Be one of the most enthusiastic voters, vote for the Acropolis. So far in the final round of 20 candidates for the world’s top architectural marvels, people from every country have voted by Internet or phone, says the nonprofit organization conducting the balloting. Cast your vote now! Vote for The Acropolis, Greece.

“It’s the first ever global vote,” said Tia B. Viering, spokeswoman for the “New 7 Wonders of the World” campaign. The organizers are hoping for a final surge of voting from the United States and Europe to make the selection truly global. Please support Greece, vote for The Acropolis!

Cast your vote, Vote for The Acropolis, Greece > To cast a ballot, go to www.new7wonders.com or call (011) 372-541-11738 or (011) 423-663-900299 (international phone rates apply).

Please VOTE for the Acropolis! June 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For 7New Wonders.
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The Acropolis is among the leaders of a competition to choose the new Seven Wonders of the World, organizers said yesterday.

The winners will be chosen through a global online and phone vote that ends in a month. Some 50 million people have voted at www.new7wonders.com so far. The competition aims to produce a 21st century list of the world’s greatest man-made heritage sites. The winning list will be announced in Lisbon on July 7.

How to vote > VOTE FOR THE ACROPOLIS > ATHENS > GREECE!
Online: www.new7wonders.com (free registration required)

Phone: Call international voting lines or send SMS mobile text message (numbers available on www.new7wonders.com)

PLEASE SUPPORT GREECE BY VOTING THE ACROPOLIS! THANK YOU!