In a colorful ceremony full of music and dance, Brazil's Rio do Janeiro officially presented this week the candidacy of the impressive Christ Redeemer on the Corcovado hill as one of the modern world's seven wonders.
The 75 years old huge Christ with open arms that has become the icon of Rio do Janeiro stands on the city's highest pedestal, the 710 meters high Corcovado hill with the "marvelous city" at its feet. Christ Redeemer is competing with twenty other world monuments man built among which the Moais statues of Easter island, China's Great Wall, the Inca ruins of Machu Pichu in Peru, the Mayan temple of Chichen in Mexico and the Alhambra of Granada, Spain. The 38 meters tall Corcovado Christ was an initiative of the Catholic Church to celebrate the centenary of Brazil's independence in 1922. However the statue designed by engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was only inaugurated October 12, of 1931. Swiss born Bernard Weber president of "New Seven Wonders" who was present at the Rio ceremony launched the idea four years ago and has since toured the world promoting grass root participation in the election of the world's seven most significant monuments. Most of the benefits from the world campaign will be invested in the preservation and restoration of monuments in the world, according to the statutes of the New Seven Wonders foundation. The final seven will be announced next July 7 in a ceremony to be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The list of ancient Seven Wonders of the World includes the Pyramids of Egypt; the Hanging gardens of Babylon; the statue of Zeus at Olympus; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus; Mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria. The Brazilian committee in support of Christ Redeemer includes political, religious and cultural personalities who called upon citizens to express support for the city's icon by signing at www.new7wonders.com.