The 105-foot-tall (38-meter-tall) "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was among the "new seven wonders of the world" announced July 7 following a global poll in 2007 to decide a new list of human-made marvels.
The winners were voted for by Internet and phone, American Idol style. The other six new wonders are the Colosseum in Rome, India's Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Jordan's ancient city of Petra, the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico.
The contest was organized by the New7Wonders Foundationthe brainchild of Swiss filmmaker and museum curator Bernard Weberin order to "protect humankind's heritage across the globe." The foundation says the poll attracted almost a hundred million votes.
Yet the competition has proved controversial, drawing criticism from the United Nations' cultural organization UNESCO, which administers the World Heritage sites program (pictures of the newest World Heritage sites).
"This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by [the] public," UNESCO said in a statement
Perched on the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra was the capital of the Nabataean kingdom of King Aretas IV (9 B.C. to A.D. 40).
Machu Picchu, Peru
One of three successful candidates from Latin America, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century mountain settlement in the Amazon region of Peru.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, is the spectacular mausoleum built by Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to honor the memory of his beloved late wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Construction began in 1632 and took about 15 years to complete. The opulent, domed mausoleum, which stands in formal walled gardens, is generally regarded as finest example of Mughal art and architecture. It includes four minarets, each more than 13 stories tall.
Great Wall of China
This newly elected world wonder was built along China's northern border over many centuries to keep out invading Mongol tribes.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Chichén Itzá is possibly the most famous temple city of the Mayas, a pre-Columbian civilization that lived in present day Central America. It was the political and religious center of Maya civilization during the period from A.D. 750 to 1200.
The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The only finalist from Europe to make it into the top seventhe Colosseum in Rome, Italyonce held up to 50,000 spectators who came to watch gory games involving gladiators, wild animals, and prisoners.
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