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Great Wall candidate for world wonders
Updated: 2006-01-05 20:34

The Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal are among the 21 global landmarks chosen as final candidates in the New Seven Wonders of the World, the official website swissinfo reported Wednesday.

Great Wall candidate for world wonders
The Great Wall of China. [File]

The Swiss-based organizers, who unveiled the shortlist, have called on the public to take part in an online vote to whittle the list down to seven. The winning sites will be announced on New Year's Day of 2007.

The idea of creating a new list of contemporary wonders was the brainchild of Bernard Weber, a Swiss adventurer and film-maker.

The original seven wonders of the ancient world were selected by the Greek philosopher Philon more than 2,000 years ago. The Great Pyramid of Giza, which is included in the list of finalists, is the only one of the original wonders still standing.

"I believe that after more than 2,000 years it's time to redefine the world wonders," Weber told Swiss television following the announcement of the shortlist. "Thanks to the internet and telephone, for the first time in history the whole world can take part in this process."

According to Weber's New Seven Wonders Foundation, the public responded enthusiastically to the challenge, with 19 million people taking part in voting between 2001 and the end of 2005.

For inclusion in the list, the new wonders had to be man-made, completed by 2000 and in an "acceptable" state of preservation. Each continent had to be represented by at least one wonder, but there could not be more than one per country.

"They should become symbols of unity in the modern world, just as the original seven wonders were symbols of the ancient world," Weber said.

The shortlist of 21 includes ancient sites such as the Acropolis in Athens and India's Taj Mahal temple as well as more recent constructions, notably the Sydney Opera House and New York's Statue of Liberty.

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