Lost then Found: Police Recover Garcia Marquez First Edition

In News by Hannah Johnson

A signed first edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude was stolen at the Bogota Book Fair last week. Police recovered the book, but the thieves are still at large.

By Hannah Johnson

Cien_años_de_soledad_1967Last weekend, a signed first edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was stolen from the Bogota Book Fair, where the book was on display in a locked cabinet. After a “labored pursuit,” according to the director of Colombia’s national police, Rodolfo Palomino, Colombian police recovered the book in downtown Bogota. However, police are still searching for the the identities of the thieves.

Estimates of the book’s value vary between $23,000 and $60,000. This first edition is one of 8,000, printed in 1967. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of Colombia’s leading authors. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, and his work is renowned internationally. Since his death in 2014, the value of his signed first editions has increased.

The New York Times reports that the penalty for the theft would be 6 to 20 years in prison, according to Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office.

Prior to the discovery of the stolen book, the owner, Alvaro Castillo, pledged to “donate the book to the National Library of Colombia after an outpouring of anger over its theft.”

“This book no longer belongs to me, this book belongs to my country…from the moment that so many Colombians condemned this action, the book belonged to us all,” Castillo said.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.