Two me­mo­ri­als for No­bel lau­re­ate Mar­quez

Daily Trust - - WORLD -

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.

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