CAIRO: Unesco recently released a statement confirming that their World Heritage Program is in no way related to the New 7 Wonders of the World campaign, despite being asked to support the campaign on several occasions.
Unesco sent an official letter to Culture Minister Farouk Hosni and Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, stating that they were not involved with the campaign. The organization wants to prevent any damaging confusion that might occur after Egyptian officials expressed anger in the media towards the campaign.
Hosni had announced that Egypt was successful in eliminating the Pyramid of Khufu from the list of nominees for the campaign, as it is the only surviving ancient wonder left.
Unesco s main objective behind their World Heritage Program is to assist countries in identifying, protecting and preserving world heritage.
Simply identifying the sites on a list does not fulfill the purpose of preserving them. Instead they must define the scientific criteria, evaluate the quality of the sites and set up management frameworks, explained the Unesco statement.
The task [of the World Heritage Program] is one of technical conservation and political persuasion and there is also a clear educational role with respect to the sites inherent value, the threats they face and what must be done to prevent their loss, it added.
The New 7 Wonders campaign was launched in 2000 by Bernard Weber, and according to Unesco there is no comparison between the objective of the campaign and the work of the World Heritage Program in preserving the sites.
The campaign is a private one, and it only reflects the opinions of those who have access to the internet and not the entire population. It also cannot contribute to the preservation of the sites in any way, added the statement.