IT sure has. And whether or not you’ve ever shared in this desire, you’ve probably heard of these long lost marvels, while other monumental victims of history never cross your (or IT’s) mind. Not that we’re calling you (or ourselves) callous. Heavens no! It’s just that 2,200 years ago a fellow by the name of Philon of Byzantium made a list of the seven wonders of his (ancient) world—including our friend the colossus, the Egyptian pyramids, the lighthouse of Alexandria, and Babylon’s gardens—thereby burning them forever into Western civilization’s collective memory, while other great statues, gardens, and lighthouses were lost for all time.
With the exception of the pyramids, none of Philon’s wonders are still in existence today. Which is why a fellow by the name of Bernard Weber has decided it’s time for a New Seven Wonders of the World, one that reflects humanity’s remaining heritage and spans the entire planet, not just the greater Mediterranean region.
of seven eminent architects and heritage experts (IT’s single quibble: only one woman?), who chose 21 possible world wonder candidates, including Petra, the Great Wall, and the Statue of Liberty. Until July 7, 2007 (07/07/07), members of the public can vote online for their seven favorites. (You can vote as often as you want over the phone, but it’ll cost you—$1 per vote in the U.S.) Online voters only get one shot, but you can check on how your choices are faring on the weekly results page.
The goal of the project is to focus public attention on the need to preserve the planet’s “monuments in jeopardy, perhaps in a dangerous state of decay.” Which, incidentally, is the pretty much the same goal as the World Heritage Destination Scorecard in National Geographic Traveler‘s November/December issue.
More than half of N7W’s 21 world wonder candidates were evaluated during our recent scorecard survey, and only three of those (the Alhambra, Easter Island, Kyoto) ranked above the “in moderate trouble” category. Two more (Angkor, the pyramids) were among the ten worst managed, so N7W isn’t being melodramatic. If you haven’t had enough voting for the week, or maybe even if you have, pop over to their site and pick yourself some wonders. This vote actually counts.
- Nat Geo Expeditions