Greece, France hit out at 'new' seven wonders

9th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

ATHENS, July 9, 2007 (AFP) - Greece and France hit out on Monday at the naming over the weekend of seven "new" wonders of the world after neither the Eiffel Tower nor the Acropolis made it onto the list.

ATHENS, July 9, 2007 (AFP) - Greece and France hit out on Monday at the naming over the weekend of seven "new" wonders of the world after neither the Eiffel Tower nor the Acropolis made it onto the list.

"Monuments do not have to parade on a podium like in a beauty contest," Greek Culture Minister Georgios Voulgarakis told a news conference.

The private initiative, voted on by 100 million people around the world by Internet or phone ahead of a huge ceremony on Saturday in Portugal, "has nothing to do with the true value of monuments," Voulgarakis said.

A French foreign ministry spokeswoman said that France preferred the way UNESCO, the UN body for culture, chose its world heritage sites.

"France prefers the conception of UNESCO, which has included on its world heritage list 851 sites including 31 in France," spokeswoman Pascale Andreani said.

The seven "new" wonders are the Great Wall of China; India's Taj Mahal; the ruins of Petra in Jordan; the Colosseum in Rome; the statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro; the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru; and the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico.

As well as the Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis, short-listed sites that missed the final cut included the Easter Island statues; Britain's Stonehenge; Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples; New York's Statue of Liberty; and the Alhambra in Spain.

Christian Manhart, UNESCO's press officer, criticised the ballot on Sunday, saying it sent out a "negative message to countries whose sites have not been retained."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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