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New 7 Wonders of the World Announced


The new Seven Wonders of the World have been selected after a global poll. The winners were announced Saturday. Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome.

About 100 million votes were cast by the Internet and cell-phone text messages to choose the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Academy Award-winning British actor Ben Kingsley announced the winners at a glitzy international show at Portugal's largest venue, the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.

"The Colosseum in Rome," he said.

The only site in Europe selected was the Colosseum. The others were: The Great Wall of China, India's Taj Mahal, Jordan's ancient city of Petra, the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, Brazil's Statue of Christ Redeemer, and Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid.

The seven winners beat out 14 other nominated landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Easter Island in the Pacific, the Statue of Liberty in New York City, the Acropolis in Athens, Russia's Kremlin and Australia's Sydney Opera House.

Thousands enjoyed the show in Lisbon, which included break-dancing and singing by tenor Jose Carreras and pop star Jennifer Lopez. Others celebrated in the countries home to the sites chosen.

In India, this young man said he was proud he was born in the city of the Taj Mahal. He said he was proud it was selected as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

In Mexico, Yucatan State Governor Yvonne Ortega celebrated the selection of the Chichen Itza pyramid.

Ortega said, "the Mayans brought luck to us, the people from Yucatan, but now we must take advantage of this with a great economic development for the country."

The campaign to name the new wonders was launched in 1999 with almost 200 nominations coming in from around the world. The list of candidates was narrowed to 21 by the start of 2006. Organizers also went on a world tour, visiting each site.

The original list of wonders were concentrated in the Mediterranean and Middle East. The only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world are The Great Pyramids of Giza.

The New 7 Wonders organization was established by Swiss-Canadian adventurer Bernard Weber. It aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments. It relies on private donations and revenue from selling broadcasting rights.

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