Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia police recover Garcia Marquez first edition

Visitors in a pavilion dedicated to Macondo, the fictitious town in which many of Garcia Marquez's novels were set Image copyright AFP
Image caption The book was stolen from the Macondo pavilion at the International Book Fair in Bogota

Police in Colombia say they have recovered a signed first edition copy of the novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

It was taken last weekend from a locked cabinet at the International Book Fair in the Colombian capital, Bogota.

The book belongs to a collector who bought it in 2006; it was later signed by the author, who died last year.

Police say it was found on a used book stall in Bogota. They suspect antique dealers were behind the robbery.

The book is estimated to be worth $60,000 (£40,000) but its owner says his copy is priceless.

'Yesterday and forever'

It disappeared on 2 May from a locked cabinet at the Corferias exhibition centre in Bogota where it was being exhibited as part of the book fair.

The fair, one of the most important in Latin America, had at its theme Macondo, the fictional Colombian town where One Hundred Years of Solitude is set.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The fair was dedicated to the memory of Garcia Marquez, affectionately known as Gabo

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, was Colombia's most famous and critically acclaimed author.

Following his death in Mexico in April of last year, first editions of his novels have risen in value.

Alvaro Castillo, who trades in rare books, said he purchased the 1967 first edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude in a bookshop in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, in 2006.

Garcia Marquez later signed the copy and dedicated it to Mr Castillo with the words: "To Alvaro Castillo, the old book seller, as yesterday and forever, your friend, Gabo."

Mr Castillo would not say how much he paid for the copy or how much more it would be worth with the dedication, but stressed that to him it was priceless.

"The book was signed by a friend, and that friend is now dead," said Mr Castillo.

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