The Great Wall is at the top of the "New
Seven Wonders of the World" list.
China's more than 5,000-km-long engineering and architectural marvel is
followed by the pink-colored ruins of Petra in Jordan, the statue of
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in
Peru, the Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Coliseum in Rome, and
the Taj Mahal in India.
A private Swiss foundation launched a worldwide poll in January to
choose the new top seven wonders from 21 sites. A jury short-listed the 21
from the original 77 selected by the foundation. Nearly 100 million votes
were cast before the results were declared in the Portuguese capital of
Lisbon on Saturday night.
The top contenders that lost
out are the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, the Stonehenge in
Britain, Angkor Vat in Cambodia, the statues on Easter Island and the
Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The private campaign was the brainchild of Swiss filmmaker and museum
curator Bernard Weber, who said his initiative seeks to recreate the
popularity of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Only one of the original seven wonders, the Pyramids of Egypt, can
still be seen. The others, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the
Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum
at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria
were all stories.
"The real cultural and historical value of a world heritage site should
not be determined by online voting but by what they mean to human beings,"
said a netizen on popular portal www.sina.com.cn.
China Great Wall Society's Deputy Secretary Zhang Ji welcomed the
results. The Great Wall's name on the list could help preservation
efforts, he said.
Han Guowei, a society official, addressed the gathering in Lisbon and
appreciated the efforts of the organizers and people who voted for the
Great Wall. He welcomed friends from across the world to experience the
"eternity and greatness" of the Great Wall.