Page last updated at 05:08 GMT, Monday, 2 January 2006

Old and new in Seven Wonders poll

Sydney Opera House
Sydney's Opera House is an iconic monument

People around the world are being invited to vote in a survey for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

A privately funded organisation, the New 7 Wonders Foundation, has put forward a shortlist of 21 landmarks from across the globe.

They include Rome's Colosseum, Jordan's ancient city of Petra, Britain's Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China.

The Swiss-based foundation is asking people to vote for their favourites by phone during 2006.

The winning septet will be announced on New Year's Day 2007.

Half of the money raised will go towards funding the Foundation's heritage work.

Man-made monuments

The list also includes a number of more modern candidates, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, New York's Statue of Liberty and the Sydney Opera House.

File photograph of ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
Acropolis, Athens
Alhambra, Spain
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Kyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Kremlin, Moscow, Russia
Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
Taj Mahal, India
Timbuktu, Mali

The Great Pyramid of Giza, which is included in the new list, is the only original wonder to remain in contention.

The Seven Wonders of the ancient world were selected by a Greek philosopher, Philon of Byzantium, over 2,000 years ago.

All of his choices were situated around the Mediterranean basin.

To be included on the new list, the wonders had to be man-made, completed by 2000, and in an "acceptable" state of preservation.

The New Seven Wonders Foundation, which includes among its members the former head of the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco, says it is using its survey to alert the world to the destruction of the world's cultural heritage.

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