Gabriel García Márquez to Grace the New Colombian 50,000-Peso Bill

This is cold hard cash, not magical realism.

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“Face of Colombia’s second largest bill” can be added to the extensive resume of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez. The rumors have been circulating since his death in 2014, and last week, following an official ceremony in Bogotá, Colombia put its new 50,000-Peso bill into circulation, featuring two images of the country’s beloved “Gabo.”

Best known for his novels 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, the famed magical realist will share the bill with two members of the Arawak tribe, a native people of Colombia, who are pictured along with a rendering of La Ciudad Perdida. The ruin in the nation’s coastal mountains predates Peru’s Machu Pichu by approximately 650 years. Fittingly, beside the author’s portrait, a cluster of butterflies flutters.

While literary figures do not appear on currency often, Marquez finds himself in good company. In the 1990s, Charles Dickens was featured on the British ten-pound note and fellow 19th century novelist Jane Austen will grace the bill beginning in 2017. Additionally, James Joyce graced Irish currency for a decade before the introduction of the Euro in 2002. The bill also included a line from Finnegans Wake: “Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs,” an artistic touch notably lacking in the various iterations of the American Dollar.

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