Egypt says no pyramids photo on Portuguese stamps
Egypt has refused to allow images of its Pyramids to be used on a Portuguese postal stamp featuring sites in a competition to name the new seven wonders of the world, the state-run news agency said on Sunday.
The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted Zahi Hawass, Egypt's antiquities chief, as saying the pyramids at Giza should not be used on stamps issued for commercial purposes or included in a competition that is not based on scientific standards.
The Zurich-based New 7 Wonders Foundation removed the pyramids from the competition it is sponsoring after their inclusion sparked an outcry in Egypt.
The organisation, established by Swiss/Canadian filmmaker Bernard Weber, instead lists the pyramids -- the only original wonder of the world to have survived to the present day -- as an honorary candidate for which the public cannot vote.
Twenty-one sites from different historical periods around the world are still in the race, among them the Acropolis in Greece, the Statue of Liberty in the United States, France's Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin and Red Square in Russia.
The public can vote online on www.new7wonders.com or by phone, with the winners to be announced on July 7 in Lisbon.
Hawass called the competition, claimed to be the largest global poll ever held, a "farce," MENA reported.
It said he had asked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to assign 300 antiquities experts and intellectuals instead to choose the new wonders based on scientific and historical criteria.
The ancient Greeks laid out the seven wonders of the world more than two thousand years ago, including sites around the Mediterranean such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.