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7 Wonders has no heritage link: Unesco

Unesco says it's a private list, limited only to those access to Net.

News18test sharma |

Updated:June 25, 2007, 12:47 PM IST
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7 Wonders has no heritage link: Unesco
Unesco says it's a private list, limited only to those access to Net.

New Delhi: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has dissociated itself from the ongoing media campaign and Internet voting to pick the "Seven New Wonders of the World", saying the exercise is a complete private undertaking.

A press note issued by UNESCO said it is not involved in the campaign and there is no linkage between its World Heritage protection programme and the ongoing campaign.

The statement comes barely three weeks before the privately-funded Switzerland-based organisation, New Seven Wonder Foundation, comes up with the final list of ‘New Seven Wonders’.

The campaign is, however, being touted as an event that will redefine the cultural legacies of the world.

The campaign was launched in 2000 by Bernard Weber in his private capacity and its idea is to select seven new wonders of the world through a global polling process by citizens of the entire world.

"The list of the seven new wonders of the world will be regarded as an effort of a private initiative, only reflecting the opinion of a public with access to the internet, and not that of the world as a whole," according to UNESCO.

In India, the ongoing poll has been tracked closely by Internet users as well as media in order to ensure that the majestic marble monument, the Taj Mahal, gets a place in the coveted list.

Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni herself has pitched in the campaign by voting for the Taj. The Government, however, clarified that Soni it could not be “officially” associated with the project as it was a private campaign and not recognised by the UNESCO.

''Ambika Soni, as a minister, is not involved in the campaign, but Ambika Soni, as an Indian citizen, will appeal to all Indians to participate in it,'' she said.

She also appealed to Indians and also those settled abroad to vote wholeheartedly in favour of the medieval monument. ''It will be a great tribute to the Taj, which richly deserves to be in the list of New Seven Wonders,'' she said.

''The Taj needs the continued support of people in India and around the world to remain in the Top Seven, especially with powerful new campaigns taking place on behalf of the other candidates,'' the minister had pointed out.

The UN body said the Weber initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public.

"Although UNESCO was severally requested to support the initiative at its launch, the UNESCO declined to collaborate with Weber in this campaign," a statement issued by UNESCO on Wednesday said.

UNESCO also pointed out that there was no shade of comparison between Weber's media campaign and UNESCO's scientific and educational work leading to registration of sites in the World Heritage list.

"UNESCO's stated objective and mandate is to assist countries in the identification, protection and preservation of world heritage. It is meaningless to acknowledge sentimental or symbolic value of certain sites and classify them on a new list," the statement said.

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