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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seven Modern Wonders

The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome and the Sydney Opera House are among contenders to be among the new seven wonders of the world, as a massive poll draws to a close. Votes have already been cast by more than 90 million people. As the Friday midnight GMT voting deadline approaches, the rankings can still change.

The winners will be announced on Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal. Also in the top 10 are Greece's Acropolis, Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island, Brazil's Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Taj Mahal and Jordan's Petra. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, are assured of keeping their status in addition to the new seven, after indignant Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete for a spot.

People from every country in the world have voted by Internet or phone, says the non-profit organisation conducting the balloting. 'There are not many things that; could bring the world together like global culture ... this is really something that every single person in the world can be interested in," said New 7 Wonders of the World spokesman Tia Viering.

The Colosseum, the Great Wall, Peru's Machu Picchu, India's Taj Mahal and Jordan's Petra have been among the leaders since January, while the Acropolis and the Statue of Christ Redeemer made their way up from the middle of the field to the top level, according to latest tallies. The US's Statue of Liberty and Australia's Sydney Opera House have been sitting in the bottom 10 since the start. The campaign was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber.

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