Colombia puts out banknote featuring writer Garcia Marquez

A handout photo released on Friday, August 19, 2016 by Colombia's central bank Banco de la Republica shows the new 50,000-peso banknote with the image of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez issued by the bank Friday in Bogota (AFP Photo/HO)

Bogota (AFP) - Colombia started circulating a new 50,000-peso banknote on Friday bearing the likeness of late Nobel-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The light purple piece of money, worth the equivalent of $17.40, "pays honor to a person who carried Colombia's name far and wide from the middle of the last century," the head of the country's central bank, Jose Dario Uribe, said.

The banknote was launched in a ceremony in Santa Marta, a town on Colombia's Caribbean coast, close to Garcia Marquez's birthplace, that served as the setting for the writer's landmark 1967 novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

The first retail bank customer to receive the new bill, Jadis Saker, said "this moment will remain carved into my memory," according to the newspaper El Heraldo.

Garcia Marquez, who was born in 1927, started out as a journalist before finding fame as an author and pioneering a style called "magic realism." In 1982 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature

He died in April 2014 aged 87, in Mexico, where he lived with his wife.