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Bob Dylan Considered 'Unworthy' of French Legion of Honor?
Minister of Culture AurélieFilippetti wishes to present the award to the genius of rock. But the Grand Chancellery is holding him back.
Too rebellious to be awarded the highest honor of the French Republic? According to Le Canard Enchaîné, Great Chancellor of the National Order of the Legion of Honor Jean-Louis Georgelin has rejected Bob Dylan's candidacy on the grounds he is “unworthy” of the Legion. Is it that the anti-establishment icon of Vietnam War protests and dissolute morals (he has long been addicted to heroin) displeases the chancellor?
“The Order's Council has yet to meet to assess his candidacy. Nothing has been done yet,” the grand chancellor tells Le Figaro - without denying the allegations of the satirical newspaper.
Since 1990, Bob Dylan has been a Commander of Arts and Letters, awarded by Culture Minister Jack Lang. And we recall that in April 2009, then-president Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to meet the singer after one of his concerts in Paris - a meeting commented on by Dylan himself ina rare interview with the American magazine Rolling Stone.
Contacted by Le Figaro, staff members of Culture Minister AurélieFilippetti confirmed the obviously sensitive issue, and her spokesman declined to comment.
As the designation process is meant to work works, the culture minister gave Dylan's name to the Council of the Order of the Legion of Honor. Then its seventeen members, chaired by the grand chancellor, consider the proposal and decide.
“Fifteen percent of these proposals are eliminated by the Council of the Order before ever being submitted to the president of the republic,” the Grand Chancellery informs. ÉricCharden, unforgettable singer of the song Made in Normandie [Made in Normandy] was promoted before his death. Dearer to us and more prestigious, Paul McCartney was the first to be decorated by President François Hollande last September (see below).
Not to be rejected, the candidate must fulfill a certain number of conditions: “The individual must defend the values of France, serve its interests, or play a special role between France and another country.”
Although during his career, Bob Dylan has never fought for the identity of France, his “mémoire de proposition”(technical term for his application of candidacy) would fall under the latter case.
The Grand Chancellery also insists that appointments of foreign personalities remain symbolic: “Until 1870, a decree obliged appointees to take an oath to defend the state. Since that was repealed, it has been impossible for foreigners to be members of the Order of the Legion in the fullest sense of the term.”