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UNESCO says it has refused.

“There is no comparison between Mr. Weber’s campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List,” the organization said in a widely circulated e-mail.

The private campaign to rename the seven wonders allows anyone with an e-mail account or a telephone to vote.

“Scientific criteria must be defined, the quality of candidates evaluated, and legislative and management frameworks set up. The relevant authorities must also demonstrate commitment to these frameworks as well as to permanently monitoring the state of conservation of sites. The task is one of technical conservation and political persuasion,” UNESCO says.

Adding to the sting, no doubt, is the presence of former UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor, who is listed as the chairman of the panel for the private campaign.

Mexico’s Chichen Itza, the Taj Mahal, the Statute of Liberty, the Kremlin and the Sydney Opera House are among the 27 candidates, as selected by 60 million people.

The winners will be announced on July 7.

Betsy Pisik may be reached by e-mail at