Friday, July 06, 2007

Or, The Vatican Could Bite Me

Vatican finds Seven Wonders list biased

VATICAN CITY, July 6 (UPI) -- The Vatican suggested an anti-Christian bias in the short list of candidates for the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Only three Christian sites made the list of 21 -- the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, and two Moscow cathedrals, St. Basil's and the Kremlin.

Bernard Weber, a Swiss photographer, began working to create a new Seven Wonders list after the Taliban destroyed giant statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan. The short list was drawn up by a panel of architects.

Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, head of the pontifical commission for culture and archeology, found the omission of the Sistine Chapel, with its frescoes by Michelangelo, "surprising, inexplicable, even suspicious," The Times of London reported.

He pointed to other world-famous Christian sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Sagrada Familia Church designed by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona.

The short list included such acknowledged marvels as the ancient Cambodian temples at Angkor Wat, the city of Petra in Jordan and Stonehenge, a pagan religious monument in England, The Times said.

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