New7Wonders of the World

New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) was a campaign started in 2000 to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments.[1] The popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation based in Zurich, Switzerland, with winners announced on 7 July 2007 in Lisbon.[2][3]

The New7Wonders Foundation said that more than 100 million votes were cast through the Internet or by telephone. Voting via the Internet was limited to one vote for seven monuments per person/identity, but multiple voting was possible through telephone.[4] Hence the poll was considered unscientific.[5] According to John Zogby, founder and current President/CEO of the Utica, New York-based polling organization Zogby International, New7Wonders Foundation drove "the largest poll on record".[3]

The program drew a wide range of official reactions. Some countries touted their finalist and tried to get more votes cast for it, while others downplayed or criticized the contest.[3][5] After supporting the New7Wonders Foundation at the beginning of the campaign by providing advice on nominee selection, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), by its bylaws having to record all and give equal status to world heritage sites, distanced itself from the undertaking in 2001 and again in 2007.[6][7]

The New7Wonders Foundation, established in 2001, relied on private donations and the sale of broadcast rights and received no public funding.[8] After the final announcement, New7Wonders said it didn't earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investment.[9]

Although N7W describes itself as a not-for-profit organization, the company behind it—the New Open World Corporation (NOWC)—is a commercial business. All licensing and sponsorship money is paid to NOWC.

The foundation ran two subsequent programs: New7Wonders of Nature, the subject of voting until 2011, and New7Wonders Cities, which ended in 2014.


Location of the New7Wonders winners

The Great Pyramid of Giza, largest and oldest of the three pyramids at the Giza Necropolis in Egypt and the only surviving of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was granted honorary status.

Wonder Location Image Year
Great Pyramid of Giza
(honorary status)
Giza Necropolis, Egypt   2560 BC
Great Wall of China China   700 BC
Petra Ma'an, Jordan   312 BC
Colosseum Rome, Italy   80 AD
Chichen Itza Yucatán, Mexico   600 AD
Machu Picchu Cuzco Region, Peru   1450 AD
Taj Mahal Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India   1643 AD
Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   1931 AD


United Nations

In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation contracted a partnership with the United Nations in recognition of the efforts to promote the UN's Millennium Development Goals". [10]

However, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a press release on June 20, 2007, reaffirmed that it has no link with the initiative. The press release concluded:[7]

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 8 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.



In Brazil there was a campaign Vote no Cristo (Vote for the Christ) which had the support of private companies, namely telecommunications operators that stopped charging voters to make telephone calls and SMS messages to vote.[11] Additionally, leading corporate sponsors including Banco Bradesco and Rede Globo spent millions of reals in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven.[3] Newsweek reports the campaign was so pervasive that:[3]

One morning in June, Rio de Janeiro residents awoke to a beeping text message on their cell phones: "Press 4916 and vote for Christ. It's free!" The same pitch had been popping up all over the city since late January—flashing across an electronic screen every time city-dwellers swiped their transit cards on city buses and echoing on TV infomercials that featured a reality-show celebrity posing next to the city's trademark Christ the Redeemer statue.

— Elizabeth Dwoskin, Newsweek

According to an article in Newsweek, around 10 million Brazilians had voted in the contest by early July.[3] This number is estimated as the New7Wonders Foundation never released such details about the campaign. An airplane message, with a huge inscription "4916 VOTE FOR CHRIST" flew in Rio de Janeiro for a month.


An intensive campaign led by the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in Peru had a great impact in the media and consequently Peruvian people voted massively for its national wonder. The announcement of the new World Wonders generated great expectation and the election of Machu Picchu was celebrated nationwide.


The Chilean representative for Easter Island's Moais, Alberto Hotus, said Weber gave him a letter saying that the Moais had finished eighth and were morally one of the New Seven Wonders. Hotus said he was the only participant to receive such an apology.[12]


A campaign to publicize the Taj Mahal in India gathered speed and it reached a climax in July 2007 with news channels, radio stations, and many celebrities asking people to vote for the Taj Mahal.


Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan joined the campaign to back Petra, Jordan's national treasure.[3]


There was a campaign on the news programs to encourage people to vote for Chichen Itzá.[citation needed]

Other finalists

The other 13 finalists,[13] chronologically were:

Wonder Location Image Year
Stonehenge Amesbury, United Kingdom   2400 BCE
Acropolis of Athens Athens, Greece   447 BCE
Hagia Sophia İstanbul, Turkey   537
Angkor Wat Angkor, Cambodia   1113
Moai Easter Island, Chile   1250
Timbuktu Timbuktu, Mali   1327
Alhambra Granada, Spain   1333
Red Square Moscow, Russia   1561
Kiyomizu-dera Kyoto, Japan   1633
Neuschwanstein Füssen, Germany   1869
Statue of Liberty New York City, United States   1886
Eiffel Tower Paris, France   1887
Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia   1959


  1. ^ "How the New7Wonders movement all began – World of New7Wonders". World of New7Wonders.
  2. ^ "The project founder Bernard Weber - A Short History - World of New7Wonders". World of New7Wonders.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Dwoskin, Elizabeth (2007-07-09). "Vote for Christ". Newsweek. ISSN 0028-9604. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03.
  4. ^ "Voting Analysis". World of New7Wonders. Archived from the original on 2013-03-26.
  5. ^ a b The Seven Wonders of the World, 2.0, Los Angeles Times, 2007-07-07
  6. ^ "New7Wonders and UNESCO: Separate organizations, common goals". World of New7Wonders. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "UNESCO confirms that it is not involved in the "New7Wonders of the World" campaign". UNESCO. July 9, 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Interesting questions and answers". World of New7Wonders. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11.
  9. ^ Oh Taj! 7 wonders won’t get campaign money,, 2007-07-22 Archived August 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ New7Wonders: "United Nations"
  11. ^ "Sete Maravilhas: Brasil comemora eleição de Cristo Redent" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  12. ^ "Líder pascuense furioso porque le dieron a la isla un triunfo moral" Las Últimas Noticias July 10, 2007 Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "New7Wonders of the World". World of New7Wonders.

External links