Spain has made Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa its choice to take the helm of the Cervantes Institute, sources with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government told Efe Wednesday.

The Peruvian novelist, a naturalized Spaniard since 1993, has been tabbed to replace current director Carmen Caffarel, who was named to the post in 2007 by Rajoy's predecessor, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

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Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo announced Tuesday that a decision had been made on the position shortly after the conservative Popular Party regained power in last November's parliamentary election.

Word on the precise post being offered to Vargas Llosa and his response were expected to come in the next few hours.

The Cervantes Institute, established in 1991, is dedicated to promoting the teaching and use of the Spanish language worldwide and disseminating Spanish and Latin American culture.

With a budget of more than 100 million euros ($128 million), the institute maintains 77 centers around the world that teach Spanish and organize exhibits, plays, concerts, screenings of Spanish-language cinema and other activities.

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The 75-year-old Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature, has been a member of the institute's Board of Trustees, headed by King Juan Carlos, for the past 20 years.

On Tuesday, he participated in an event at the Italian Parliament and told Spanish officials afterward that he planned to live in Madrid from now on, Efe learned.

Sources close to the writer said he was currently in London and did not wish to comment on the Spanish government's offer.

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