Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners with the Dutch settlers being the first to send anti-establishment convicts there. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. With the end of the regime, the island has become a popular destination with global tourists. It is managed by Robben Island Museum (RIM); which operates the site as a living museum. In 1999 the island was declared a World Heritage Site.
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