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Dublin: 16°C Wednesday 27 October 2021

The French government can’t decide whether to honour Bob Dylan

The culture minister wants to make Dylan a member of the Legion d’Honneur – but not everyone is convinced.

A proposal to make Bob Dylan a member of France’s Legion d’Honneur ran into further opposition Sunday as the country’s far right weighed into a controversy over whether the singer is a suitable recipient for the award.

Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, an avowed Dylan fan, still hopes to pin the celebrated medal on one of the veteran singer’s narrow lapels, despite opposition from the committee that oversees the allocation of the award.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine revealed last week that the committee had concluded that Dylan’s pacifist politics and his use of marijuana made him an unsuitable candidate, a view endorsed Sunday by Front National leader Marine Le Pen.

“The Legion d’Honneur should not be handed out any old how, to any old person,” Le Pen declared.

“The president’s chef, the hairdresser of [former first lady] Carla Bruni and the favourite singers of Mme Filippetti… that’s not what the Legion is about.

“It is about a nation recognising those who have fought for it or those who have been responsible for spectacular advances in culture or science.

“I like Bob Dylan a lot but one mustn’t exaggerate!”

Filippetti however is sticking to her guns. “Something will be sorted out,” she said last week after news of the medals committee’s opposition leaked out.

Read: Bob Dylan commended for influence on American culture

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