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Twenty-three years after communism collapsed, the Palace of the Parliament - a gargantuan Stalinist symbol and the most concrete legacy of ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, has emerged as an unlikely pillar of Romania's nascent democracy.

The architect who designed the Parliament Palace in Bucharest, is Anca Petrescu (seen posing inside the building in the first image). While it remains one of the most controversial projects of Ceausescu's 25-year rule, it has gradually found a place in the nation's psyche. It is now also a tourist attraction, visited by tens of thousands of Romanians and foreigners every year. - Photos by AP


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