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Outside the iconic Raffles Hotel    © LightRocket/Getty Images
Arts

Singapore -- history haunts the ultra-modern state

City's 200th anniversary celebrations stir controversy over past and present identities

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh | Singapore

SINGAPORE -- From Cape Town to San Francisco, cities have been toppling monuments to historical figures with troubling legacies. In Singapore, authorities have opted for a more genteel way of dealing with the statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British colonialist who in 1819 chose the tiny island as the East India Co.'s new regional base.

They are diluting the imperialist's prominence by erecting for the year four new statues of Asian pioneers near Raffles.

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