New7Wonders keeps Komodo, but removes Ministry of Culture and Tourism from official role

New7Wonders today announces the following important decisions concerning the participation of Komodo in the Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign:

1. Voting for Komodo continues as an authorized Finalist in the Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

2. New7Wonders removes the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from its status as Official Supporting Committee for Komodo in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

Outlining these decisions, Bernard Weber, President and Founder of New7Wonders, says: “Every action by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism last week strengthened the case for us to withdraw from Indonesia completely. If we depended on the Ministry, then today we would be forced to announce a complete pull-out.”

“Fortunately, in the past days we have received many encouraging and supporting requests from the public and leading individuals to allow Komodo to continue as a Finalist in the Official New7Wonders of Nature,” says Weber, adding: “As New7Wonders is the world’s first and largest global voting platform, these voices are important to us.” He emphasizes: “The main news today is this: with the removal of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from its official role in the campaign, voting for Komodo can continue.

Bernard Weber points out: “Normally, we would have expected the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as our then-designated New7Wonders Official Supporting Committee, to act responsibly, to honour its many pledges regarding Jakarta becoming the Official Host for the Declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature on 11.11.11. The Ministry’s role should have been to support us, and to lead the search for a solution to honour the legally binding contract for New7Wonders Official Host, signed in December 2010 with a leading Indonesian Private Consortium — a consortium endorsed by the Ministry in the first place. Instead, they have reacted with malicious misinformation, invented financial commitments and prejudicial action to cover up for an apparent lack of moral responsibility and duty. In my view, with this behaviour, the Ministry has also reduced the chances for Indonesia to host other major global events that create goodwill in the world, such as the Olympics or the World Cup.”

The Komodo dragon
The Komodo dragon is found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang.

Regarding the removal of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from its official status in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, Bernard Weber states: “Under the legal terms of the Participation Agreement, we have the ultimate right to withdraw or modify the status of any participant, and in the case of Komodo the evidence clearly points to the unsuitability of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as our authorised New7Wonders Official Supporting Committee, and therefore this status is revoked with immediate effect. This removal allows us to keep Komodo in the campaign.”

Bernard Weber declares: “Once we again see it is possible to do business legally safely in Indonesia, we will consider appropriate associations or foundations or other official bodies to take over the role of New7Wonders Official Supporting Committee for Komodo. As of today, all official promotional activities for Komodo as a Finalist in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign must be directly authorized by New7Wonders until further notice.”

He concludes: “In the matter of the pending issues for the legally binding contract for the Official Host, New7Wonders will continue to act to ensure the full recognition of its legal rights, and it expects the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to be fully accountable to the Indonesian people it represents for its moral obligations in this regard.”

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