LISBON, Portugal – The Great Wall of China, Rome’s Colosseum, India’s Taj Mahal and three architectural marvels from Latin America were among the new seven wonders of the world chosen in a global poll released on Saturday.
Jordan’s Petra was the seventh winner. Peru’s Machu Picchu, Brazil’s Statue of Christ Redeemer and Mexico’s Chichen Itza pyramid also made the cut.
About 100 million votes were cast by the Internet and cell phone text messages, said New7Wonders, the nonprofit organization that conducted the poll.
The seven beat out 14 other nominated landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island in the Pacific, the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis, Russia’s Kremlin and Australia’s Sydney Opera House.
The pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, were assured of retaining their status in addition to the new seven after indignant Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete.
The campaign to name new wonders was launched in 1999 by the Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. Almost 200 nominations came in, and the list was narrowed to the 21 most-voted by the start of 2006. Organizers admit there was no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once for their favorite.
The Colosseum, the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and Petra had been among the leading candidates since January, while the Statue of Christ Redeemer received a surge in votes more recently.
The Statue of Liberty and Australia’s Sydney Opera House were near the bottom of the list from the start.
Also among the losing candidates were Cambodia’s Angkor, Spain’s Alhambra, Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, Japan’s Kiyomizu Temple, Russia’s Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, Britain’s Stonehenge and Mali’s Timbuktu.
Weber’s foundation aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments. It relies on private donations and revenue from selling broadcasting rights.