The weekend saw several memorials held for the late and much beloved Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico and his homeland of Colombia. Readers, literary luminaries and heads of state all came out to pay their last respects to the author and his legacy. The first memorial was held in Colombia, in Gabo’s hometown of of Aracataca in Colombia's Caribbean region, where a symbolic funeral was head ahead of the big ceremony in Mexico City. The Mexico City formal ceremony was attended by the presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, BBC News report.
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. Marquez’ remains, which were cremated in Mexico City last week, were laced on the podium of the majestic Palace of Fine Arts, which is where Mexico pays tribute to its late artistic icons. Considered the greatest writer of the Spanish language since Cervantes, Marquez has more than earned his place there.
The cultural venue was ornately decorated with the author’s favorite yellow flowers. Musicians were on hand to accompany the solemn ceremony with some of Marquez’ favorite 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.
"He was probably the greatest Colombian we have had in our history," President Santos told the BBC's Will Grant 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."
Marquez, a Nobel Prize winner among his many distinctions, died last Thursday, days after his release from hospital.
Read More: Gabriel Garcia Marquez Released From Hospital
Read More: Marquez Dies Days After Hospital Release