The Great Wall in "New 7 Wonders of the World" Election

Updated: 2007-06-13 08:47

Following the destruction of Afghanistan's giant Buddha statues at Bamyan by the Taliban, a Swiss filmmaker, curator and traveler Bernard Weber, decided to set up the "New Seven World Wonders" contest in 2001. So far, more than 40 million people have taken part in the biggest ever global vote to choose the seven new wonders of the world from a list of historical constructions.

According to the most recently published data, on May 7, the top 10 were the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Greece, the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the Coliseum in Rome, the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, Petra in Jordan, the statues on Easter Island, Britain's Stonehenge, and the Taj Mahal in India.
Yet, Tia B.Viering, head of communications for the New Seven Wonders indicated that the Great Wall might be left out of the final winning 7 monuments unless Chinese people spread the word and keep voting for it.

The China Great Wall Society held a press conference at the foot of Great Wall to ask tourists to vote to save its place. According to some sources at the press conference, they said the Great Wall now is out of the Top 7, citing two main reasons for this drop.

First, though China has more than 100 million Internet users, most of them didn't know about the vote and other Chinese people, more than one billion, don't use the Internet. Second, the language barrier poses a serious problem. Since the contest is hosted on a foreign website, most Chinese are unable to read it.

To remedy this situation, The China Great Wall Society took steps such as translating and setting up a Chinese version of the website and opening a channel for Chinese people to cast their votes by cell phone text service.

Some have raised the question of whether or not the Great Wall's significance really needs to be proven through the contest.

As one of the most magnificent ancient military defense works in the world, the Great Wall is already a globally-recognized wonder, and no matter if it wins the poll or not, its status in the world culture and the fact that it is the symbol of Chinese culture will not be changed a bit.

Indeed, every nation creates and boasts of its own wonders, but not every one of them has been successfully preserved and still exists today. From that perspective, too, the Great Wall is undoubtedly a wonder in that it is an embodiment of the efforts of several ancient Chinese dynasties and has survived all the disasters and turmoil in the thousands of years of Chinese history.

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