And now that the dust has settled in the “campaign” to select the seven new wonders of the world, here comes the show-stopper: Contrary to the impression it gave during the run-up to the much-hyped event, the New7Wonders organisation is not going to contribute any money for conservation of the selected monuments.
The Zurich-based company, which had promised to give 50 per cent of the revenues from its campaign, says it didn’t earn anything from the exercise and barely recovered its investments.
“We invested 10 million euros in the campaign for selecting the seven new wonders. We have just been able to break even,” the company’s spokesperson, Tia Viering, told The Indian Express.
Viering claims the money went into running the website, putting a voting system in place, global publicity, and maintaining a staff of about 20 people.
However, the company refused to give the exact amount it generated through the campaign, saying the numbers would be reported to the government of Switzerland before being made public.
Based on a global poll through internet and phone, the New7Wonders organisation had announced a list of seven new wonders of the world on July 7 this year (7/7/07). The list included the Taj Mahal.
The company claimed it received 100 million votes. It had said that it would get a share —20 per cent or less — of the revenues generated by the telecom companies in the voting process.
“Some people have this impression that we made profit. I want to make it clear that New7Wonders is a non-profit organisation and we are not into money-making,” Viering says.
As for the monuments, Viering insists the publicity itself will do them a world of good. “I think this entire campaign has been quite helpful in generating interest in them worldwide,” she says. “It will contribute towards increasing tourist inflow.”
Meanwhile, the company is already on to its next venture —- selecting the seven natural wonders of the world. The voting for the preliminary selection has already started and will continue till August 8, 2008 (8/8/08).
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