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Sun 8 Jul 2007 12:46 PM

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Petra in Jordan named among world's wonders

Jordan's ancient city of Petra is voted by millions as one of the new seven wonders of the world.

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan was on Saturday named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

The city is joined on the list by the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru, and Mexico's Mayan pyramid at Chichen Itza.

Millions of people from around the globe cast their votes over the internet for the new seven wonders of the world in a poll organised by Swiss corporation New Open World Corporation (NOWC).

The list is an alternative to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World identified by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago.

Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza was removed from the voting list after complaints from Egypt and was instead granted special status as an honorary candidate.

The Pyramids of Giza is the only surviving member of the original seven wonders, which include the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Colossus of Rhodes.

The pyramids, which are located on the outskirts of Cairo, were built as tombs for the 4th dynasty pharaohs around 4,500 years ago. It is believed they were constructed over a 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. The largest of the three pyramids, the Great Pyramid, measures 452-feet high.

Jordan’s ancient city of Petra was established around the 6th century BC and lies on the edges of the mountainous desert of the Wadi Araba.

The city, located around two and a half hours south of Amman, is famous for its many stone structures that are carved into the sides of the mountains that surround it.

The new seven wonders has caused some controversy in Egypt, with some in Egypt claiming the poll is a kind of conspiracy against the country and the Egyptian Culture Minister Farouq Hosni labelling the project “absurd”.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which oversees the World Heritage List, has also distanced itself from the poll, stating that it is “only the opinions of those with access to the internet”.

“The list of the Seven New Wonders of the World will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the internet and not the entire world. This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public,” UNESCO said last month.

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