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Garcia Marquez -- known to his fans as Gabo -- had been a journalist early in his career and traveled around the world. He settled in Mexico, where he lived for many decades before his death in 2014 at age 87.
But the author of the "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera" often set his fictions in Columbia. The Caribbean city of Cartagena, particularly, served as muse and inspiration.
In 1948, Garcia Marquez, a broke student, arrived in Cartagena for the first time. He lived there for less than a year, but his parents and family moved there, so he became a frequent visitor. His ashes will go on public exhibit in Cartagena in December.
"The decision to permanently exhibit the remains at a colonial-era cloister in the port city's historic downtown was the result of an agreement reached between authorities and Garcia Marquez's family," the Associated Press reported.
Garcia Marquez was known for bringing fantastic elements into literary fiction; his work was labeled "magic realism." He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982 for his novels and short stories, in which, the Nobel committee said, "the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts."