His ashes were placed inside stonework under a specially made bust during a private ceremony in a former convent, called the Claustro de la Merced, near the home where he liked to stay.
During the event, Marquez’s two sons unveiled the bronze bust of the author by British sculptor Katie Murray, which will remain in the building’s courtyard.
Huge yellow butterflies, a symbol of magical realism, the genre Garcia Marquez helped make famous, graced the cloister’s trees for the ceremony, which was attended by his widow and some 400 guests, most dressed in white
“It’s an honor for the city of Cartagena to host such an event,” Gonzalo Garcia Barcha, a son of the celebrated Colombian writer, told AFP.
Garcia Marquez, the author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” died at the age of 87 on April 17, 2014 in Mexico, where he lived with his wife Mercedes Barcha.
“The family is here,” Garcia Barcha said; relatives had arrived in recent days from France and the United States.
Edgar Parra Chacon, president of the University of Cartagena, to which the cloister is attached, expressed what he said was a “great honor to receive ‘Gabo,'” the affectionate nickname given to the writer.
The Claustro de la Merced, or Cloister of Mercy, is about 100 meters from the family’s seafront home.
Only a portion of Garcia Marquez’s ashes are being held in Cartagena, however. The rest will remain in Mexico, where he lived since the 1980s.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who once saluted Garcia Marquez as “the greatest Colombian of all times,” was absent from the funeral, despite being on the invitation list.
Aside from his literary creations Garcia Marquez earned widespread admiration for his fervent defense of the rights of victims of Latin American dictatorships.