Wednesday, 23.5.2007: Angkor Wat Does Not Get as Many Votes as the Eiffel Tower!

Posted on 24 May 2007. Filed under: Week 509 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 509


“It is strange that the famous Khmer Angkor Wat did not get enough votes to become one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, not even as many as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, according to the results of voting via the Internet, up to 7 May.

“Angkor Wat has just got a similar number of votes as the number of votes for the Statute of Liberty in New York and as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil.

“The organizers of the vote said on Monday that more than 45 million people have voted via the Internet to select the New Seven Wonders of the World, out of 21 selected buildings or historic monuments.

“The competition, which focused on the promotion of global knowledge about the common world cultural heritage was created by a Swiss film maker, a conservator, and a tourist, whose name is Bernard Weber, after the destruction of the huge Buddha Statutes of Afghanistan in Bamiyan by the Taliban group in 2001.

“The count of the most recent votes which were published on 7 May shows that the top ten classified items are the Acropolis in Greece, Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, Stonehenge of Great Britain, and the Muslim mosque [actually: Emperor Shah Jahan had it built as a mausoleum for his favorite wife] Taj Mahal in India.

“The New Seven Wonders spokesperson Ms. Tia Viering said, ‘This is supposed to create a memorial of the world, for the first time as a symbol of seven world units, the symbols of seven world inheritances.’

“She told Agence France Presse, ‘If you understand other people’s culture, war will not easily occur against them.’ She said that the voting was conducted from all over the world.

“She added, ‘We have received some convincing messages of welcome from different places, even where the people had never voted or decided anything by themselves.’

“The competition will end on 7 July, when the results will be officially announced in Lisbon, Portugal.

“According to Ms. Tia Viering, most votes through the Internet and also by hand phone messages have not been along nationalistic lines.

“The Pyramid of Egypt is given a title as an ‘honorary’ candidate of the Seven Wonders web site; it was deleted from the voting list after Egyptian authorities had protested, saying that the historic value the the pyramids as a world wonder cannot be expressed in such a way.

“An Egyptian specialist on ancient artifacts, Mr. Zahi Havas, said, ‘I am completely opposed to this handling of things. I can neither recognize any Greek historian who selected seven ancient wonders, nor allow a tourist company to select new seven wonders, some of them also ancient.’

“However, Ms. Tia Viering defended the popular voting.

“The other sites which were selected and up for voting were Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Alhambra Monument in Spain, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Kiyomizu Temple in Japan, the Kremlin and the Red Square in Moscow, the Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Germany, the Statue of Liberty in New York, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, and Timbuktu in Mali.

“The voting had also the purpose to collect funds for the reconstruction of the 55 m high Buddha statues of in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, which will cost up to $50 million.

“However, the income achieved is very little, which forced the organizers of the voting to focus rather on the conservation of some of the 21 sites instead of donating the money for Bamiyan, as the money is by far to little, so they rather give it to some other places for some smaller repairs.

“Mr. Michael Trane, a specialist of culture and history, said on 22 May that he did not observe the competition. However, he expressed his own opinion, ‘We should not arrange a competition with classifications – ‘First, second, and third,…’ – because every country has different wonders, people love and appreciate their own wonders. Cambodian people are the same, but our citizens do not put so much value on their wonders, moreover, the number of our citizens of Cambodia who know Angkor Wat is small. Some people who are very old have never been to Angkor Wat, so how can they know the value and the ancestors’ achievements? Most of those who know the value of Angkor Wat are well-educated intellectuals.’

“The specialist continued, ‘Angkor Wat is recognized by some people nearly all over the world, that it is wonderful and beautiful; however, will they give their vote for us, or don’t they not love their own countries too? They will vote for their countries, and more people of other countries use the Internet. Thus such a competition is impossible.’

“He stressed, ‘The wonders of each country have nothing which can be easily compared with each other, they have different attractions, so we cannot evaluate which wonders are first or second. We can say that the wonders are recognized and famous, for example, we can say that Angkor Wat is recognized and famous worldwide.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4291, 23.5.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #20, 23-29.5.2007

  • ACLEDA Bank Inaugurates Headquarters Worth US$6 Million, Announcing the Use of ATM Machines

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1346, 23.5.2007

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Denies Plan to Bring Samdech Krom Preah to Be President of Funcinpec Again
  • Cambodia Gets B-Plus Classification for National Economic Growth [from Standard & Poor’s credit rating]
  • Cambodia Leads [in ASEAN] in Implementation of Small Scale Weapons Management
  • Forest Crimes Still Persists in Kulen, Preah Vihear
  • Smuggled Gasoline Illegally Transported in Svay Rieng

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6046, 23.5.2007

  • Mr. Sar Kheng Calls for ASEAN to Create Machinery for Small Scale Weapons Management
  • Cambodian and Singaporean Doctors Meet to Discuss Liver Diseases

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3165, 23.5.2007

  • Tioulong Saumura [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: Casinos in Cambodia Are Very Easy Places for Money Laundering

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4291, 23.5.2007

  • Angkor Wat Does Not Get as Many Votes as the Eiffel Tower!
  • Microsoft Signs Agreement with Vietnam [on legal use of software in attempt to prevent copyright violations]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3042, 23.5.2007

  • Documentation Center of Cambodia Distributes History Books about Khmer Rouge Regime to More Than 200 High Schools Countrywide

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #407, 23.5.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Supports Khmer Krom to Have Rights Like Khmer Citizens Do; Cheam Yeap [Cambodian People’s Party Parliamentarian from Prey Veng] Says Khmer Krom Have Also Khmer Blood
  • Son [of a military general – name not mentioned] Enters Russey Keo High School and Robs a Student Then Runs into a Military Base [Phnom Penh]
  • Rong Chhun [president Confederation of Cambodian Trade Unions] Urges Heng Samrin to Give Title of “Hero of Trade Unions of Khmer Workers” to Shot Mr. Chea Vichea [head of Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia]

Go to last week’s editorial

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3 Responses to “Wednesday, 23.5.2007: Angkor Wat Does Not Get as Many Votes as the Eiffel Tower!”

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No matter what the result is, there will be disagreements.
Mr. Michael Trane is correct that the wonders of each country have nothing which can be easily compared with each other. As a Cambodian, I feel bitter when some Cambodians say that Angkor Wat and other temples are stones–why go to Siem Reap? go to look at stones? Yes, they are indeed stones. But if we look with our eyes, feel with our hearts what is behind, they are more than stones.

About the 7 wonders voting, i think it is just business of some particular person only because they allow all the voters that did not understand anything about the world heritage just could see some photos or it is belong to their country.On the other hand, there is no doubt that some of developed and have high population countries like French or China they got a lot of votes for their heritage. If we look at Cambodia, how many people that know and be able to access to internet, so our hope is depends on the tourist that come to visit the country, and they have their own heritage to vote for also. For me, i do not care or keep this problem in my mind because i know Angkor Wat is the best one in the world already no other heritage that could compare with. One more thing, i have a doubt that why in 7 wonders web sit there is no link that we could provide our feedback. if any one who know about it or could send my comment to the 7 wonders founder will be best because i want to know their explanations. Thanks

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