Dec. 7, 2006 – Mumbai — Are you voting for the Taj Mahal as one of new 7 wonders of the world? Javed Akkhtar, CEO of TravelPort Holidays, a travel agency in India, is making sure you do.
The young entrepreneur from Mumbai has launched a website http://www.votefortaj.com to garner votes for this beautiful ode to love located in Agra, India.
“The Taj Mahal is a source of income to millions in the travel and tourism industry. It’s time we Indians showed our love for the Taj Mahal,” Mr. Akkhtar says.
The website, http://www.votefortaj.com, aims to raise awareness through news updates, blogs and contests related to the Taj Mahal.
Having made it to the shortlist of 21 sites, the Taj Mahal now has to beat strong contenders like the Acropolis in Greece and the Great Wall of China as voting picks up pace.
The Taj Mahal needs all the support it can get, since other countries are also voting more strongly every day. Voting can be done online or by mobile text messaging.
The non-profit organization, New7Wonders, had enlisted a panel of seven architecture experts to whittle down the top 77 nominees to a shortlist of 21 sites. Nomination rules were strict.
The New Seven Wonders have to be man-made, in an ‘acceptable’ state of preservation and be of artistic or architectural value.
Among those which failed to make the grade are the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris and the Reichstag Dome in Berlin.
The original seven wonders were selected by Philon of Byzantium in 200 BC and located around the Mediterranean basin. But with six of the seven having been destroyed, there have been several attempts to update the list.
Some have focused on modern buildings, while others argued that ancient civilizations erected monuments which should have been included.
No single list has previously won unanimous approval among historians, artists and architects. Chaired by the former director general of UNESCO, Professor Federico Mayor, the judging panel has a number of illustrious names, including leading British architect Zaha Hadid. Results of the poll will be announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal.
“We have about 7 months to get the Taj Mahal on the list of finalists. India is the second-most populated country in the world and with high mobile and Internet penetration, I am sure all of India will be rejoicing when the new 7 wonders of the world will be named, ” adds Mr. Akkhtar.
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