UNESCO Sets Record Straight on "7 Wonders" Campaign

On Wednesday, UNESCO issued a statement distancing itself from Bernard Weber's "7 New Wonders of the World Contest," stating it never was attached to the initiative, despite reports in the press. The campaign, which was launched in 2000, uses the Internet to survey users across the world to select seven new wonders of the world, which will ultimately be determined by popular vote. UNESCO said that although it was invited to participate in the project several times, it declined each time, because, "the list of the '7 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." Further, "UNESCO's objective and mandate is to assist countries in identifying, protecting and preserving World Heritage," the organization said in its statement. "Acknowledging the sentimental or emblematic value of sites and inscribing them on a new list is not enough. Scientific criteria must be defined, the quality of candidates evaluated and legislative and management frameworks set up."

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