Monday, July 9, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the World

Yesterday, seven new wonders of the world were announced, following a popular vote online. Over 90 million people provided nominations, and the chosen monuments were:

The Great Wall, China
Petra, Jordan (which you may recognize from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
Christ Redeemer, Brazil (statue)
The Taj Mahal, India
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico (Mayan temple city)

These edifices are meant to represent global heritage, celebrate human creativity, and preserve cultural achievement. Apparently though, Egypt was not too happy that new wonders were declared while the pyramids of Giza - already an ancient wonder - still stand today. As a compromise, the pyramids retained an honorary wonder status.

What's bizarre about this is that the voting was conducted online and through text messages. Anyone could vote and there was no limit on votes per person. Shouldn't this have been conducted by some sort of scholarly institution? Some of the awe and "wonder" associated with the structures is lost when instead of professors of architectural history and anthropology deciding which human creations best represent the world, some kid in Rio de Janeiro can by using up his extra text messages.

Whenever I see that Christ Redeemer statue, this always comes to mind:

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