Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ashes to be returned to his native Colombia in December
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ashes to be returned to his native Colombia in December
Literature Nobel Prize Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez, gestures upon arriving at the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 23, 2007. Garcia Marquez, the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude", died on April 17, 2014 in Mexico City at the age of 87, Mexican and Colombian media reported. AFP PHOTO/Ivan Garcia.

BOGOTA (AFP).- The ashes of literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be returned from Mexico to his native Colombia in December, officials said Tuesday.

The Nobel-winning novelist, author of the groundbreaking epic "One Hundred Years of Solitude," died in Mexico City in April 2014, at the age of 87.

In a statement, the government of Bolivar in northern Colombia announced that Garcia Marquez's ashes will remain in Cartagena, the departmental capital.

The press release added that the decision on the writer's final resting place was made by Garcia Marquez's wife Mercedes Barcha and his two sons Rodrigo and Gonzalo.

The author -- generally seen as Latin America's greatest writer of the 20th century -- spent the latter part of his life in Mexico City, raising a question as to whether the Mexican capital city is where his remains would be laid to rest.

The novelist's ashes will be housed in the La Merced Cloister, in a historic district of Cartagena, just a few blocks from the house where he penned many of his best-known works.

That personal history in large part explains the choice of Cartagena, the government said in its statement, calling the return a final homecoming for its most revered native son.

"He always had to come back here to visit his parents, his siblings and his friends," the statement said.

"The relationship between Cartagena and the writer was one of a continual coming and going, as Gabo himself sometimes said," it added, referring to the author by his nickname. 

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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