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Panama’s capital City marks 500th anniversary of founding

PANAMA CITY — Panama City is marking the 500th anniversary of its founding by the Spanish on Aug. 15, 1519.

Big blue butterflies and smaller orange and black ones were released by the hundreds to mark the day when Pedro Arias de Avila founded the city.

The city’s old center, known as the Casco Viejo, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. The city’s center was moved there from a nearby site, known as Old Panama, in the 1670s after a fire.

There were parades and folk dancing shows Thursday as part of the celebrations, and actors dressed up as historical figures.

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