News / Arts & Entertainment

Fans Pay Tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City

Hundreds of people line up to enter the Palace of Fine Arts for a public viewing of the ashes of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
Hundreds of people line up to enter the Palace of Fine Arts for a public viewing of the ashes of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
Reuters
— Fans and family paid their respects to Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Monday, leaving flowers and playing music in remembrance of the Nobel laureate and giant of Latin American literature.

Hundreds thronged outside Mexico City's Palace of Fine Arts, a domed jewel of early 20th century architecture, to lay bouquets and see the urn containing the ashes of the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," who died in Mexico on Thursday, at age 87.

Mourners used umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun as they bade farewell to the man known to friends and fans alike as "Gabo," who lived his later years in Mexico City. Some struck up music, playing on tamborines and maracas.

Inside, a few guests cried out "Gabo" as the author's ashes entered in a box into the Palace of Fine Arts, where Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, were expected to pay tribute later on Monday.
  • Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (left) and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto (right), stand next to an urn containing the ashes of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez at a ceremony honoring him, Mexico City, April 21, 2014. 
  • Mercedes Barcha (right), widow of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, her son Gonzalo Garcia Barcha (left), and her grandson stand next to an urn containing Garcia Marquez's ashes for public viewing in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
  • A well-wisher holds flowers and an autobiography of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as he waits outside the Palace of Fine Arts to pay his respects to the beloved author, in Mexico City, April 21, 2014. 
  • An accordionist looks at a box with messages to late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez during a symbolic funeral in front of the house were he was born in Aracataca, his hometown on Colombia's Caribbean coast, April 21, 2014.
  • Guests play with yellow paper butterflies after paying homage to Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez outside the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, April 21, 2014. 
  • People line up to enter the Palace of Fine Arts for a public viewing of the urn containing the ashes of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
  • A fan of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez holds a sign reading, "Gabo, I see you in heaven," while standing outside the Palace of Fine Arts for a public viewing of the urn containing the ashes of Garcia Marquez, Mexico City, April 21, 2014. 
  • A resident cries during a symbolic public funeral for Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in Aracataca, Colombia, April 21, 2014. 
  • Boys from a music band attend a symbolic funeral for late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in front of the church in Aracataca, his hometown on Colombia's Caribbean coast, April 21, 2014. 

Colombia is due to hold a separate memorial on Tuesday.

Fellow authors lavished praise on Garcia Marquez after his death and political leaders across the world were quick to pay their respects.

Garcia Marquez's works have sold in the tens of millions, captivating highbrow literary critics and tapping into the region's everyday mythmaking.

"He awakened in me a love of literature and he will always be unique for me because
A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers to the Palace of Fine Arts where the ashes of Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be displayed in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers to the Palace of Fine Arts where the ashes of Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be displayed in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
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A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers to the Palace of Fine Arts where the ashes of Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be displayed in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers to the Palace of Fine Arts where the ashes of Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be displayed in Mexico City, April 21, 2014.
he marked my life," said Monserrat Paredes, a 27-year-old biologist carrying a bouquet of yellow roses, Garcia Marquez's favorite. "His genius didn't make him immortal, although he is for me," she said in tears.

Monica Arrisson, a 55-year-old math teacher visiting Mexico City from the northern state of Chihuahua, said Garcia Marquez was "the biggest there was in Latin America."

Though he wrote stories, essays and short novels in the 1950s and early 1960s, he did not find fame until "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was published in 1967. Late Mexican author Carlos Fuentes dubbed it "Latin America's Don Quixote."

The novel tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family in the fictional village of Macondo, based on the Colombian town of Aracataca, where Garcia Marquez was born.

Combining miraculous and supernatural events with details of everyday life, Garcia Marquez used the novel to explore the political landscape of Latin America. It sold more than 30 million copies and helped fuel a boom in Latin American fiction.

He followed his best-known novel with other major works including "Autumn of the Patriarch," "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Chronicle of a Death Foretold."

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