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Wonder or not? India awaits Taj’s fate

Most of India will be asleep when the new Seven Wonders of the World are announced in Lisbon, reports Jatin Gandhi.
Hindustan Times | By Jatin Gandhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 08, 2007 12:21 AM IST

When the results of the world’s first global online and SMS poll to select the new Seven Wonders of the World are announced, most of India will be asleep.

The announcements will be made in Lisbon, Portugal, between 2 am and 3.30 am (IST) on Sunday.

“Due to the time difference, we will only know early on Sunday whether the Taj has made it,” said Bharat Kapadia, Executive Director, I Media Corporation Limited (IMCL) the company behind the Vote for Taj campaign.

The show ends the first phase of the privately funded and managed project launched in 2000 by Swiss adventurer and millionaire Bernard Weber, and with it the enthusiasm and controversy generated by the poll.

Agency reports on the eve of the results have suggested that the contest “has generated enthusiasm outside the western world but come under criticism from art experts and the United Nations”.

Voting was often based on nationalism rather than objective criteria, and there was no control to prevent the same people from voting many times, observers said, according to an agency report.

The international show will include award-presentation appearances by Hollywood star Hillary Swank, British actor Ben Kingsley and India’s own Bipasha Basu. Also present will be football star Cristiano Ronaldo, former American astronaut Neil Armstrong and Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist Bertrand Piccard.

And the ceremony will feature performances by American diva Chaka Khan, Latino singer-actress Jennifer Lopez, Spanish operatic tenor Jose Carreras, Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés and Portuguese singer-song writer Dulce Pontes.

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