Two memorials for Nobel laureate Marquez
Mexico and Colombia have held public commemorations for Nobel prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died on Thursday in Mexico City aged 87.
The presidents of Colombia and Mexico attended a formal ceremony in Mexico City, where Garcia Marquez lived for more than three decades.
Earlier, residents in his home town of Aracataca in Colombia’s Caribbean region held a symbolic funeral.
He was considered the finest writer of the Spanish language since Cervantes.
Garcia Marquez was cremated at a private family ceremony in Mexico City last week.
A funeral cortege took the urn containing his ashes from his house to the historic centre of the Mexican capital, where the memorial ceremony was held.
It was placed on the podium of the majestic Palace of Fine Arts, which is where Mexico pays tribute to its late artistic icons.
The ornate cultural venue was adorned with yellow flowers, the author’s favourite and musicians also performed some of his favourite pieces.
Thousands of admirers filed past the urn, and joined the author’s wife, Mercedes Barcha, and sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo, to say their goodbyes.
The event was also attended by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos.
“He was probably the greatest Colombian we have had in our history,” President Santos told the BBC in an exclusive interview.
“The world knows about Colombia through Gabriel García Marquez. He represented what Colombia is in many ways. His magic realism is - and he said it - is not an invention. It’s a description of what Colombia is.”
Earlier, Colombia held a ceremony of its own in Garcia Marquez’s birthplace of Aracataca, the inspiration for Macondo, the setting for his 1967 seminal masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, which sold millions of copies around the world.
Garcia Marquez’s wife, Mercedes Barcha, and sons, Rodrigo (L) and Gonzalo, stood in front of the urn containing the author’s ashes.