Fans pay tribute to Nobel laureate Garcia Marquez in Mexico City

Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:57pm EDT
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By Lizbeth Diaz

MEXICO CITY (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 tambourines 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.

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 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.   Continued...

The grandchildren and other relatives of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez stand around the urn containing his ashes for public viewing, in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido