14 Nov 2013

Dylan given France's highest honour

6:57 pm on 14 November 2013

American singer Bob Dylan has been given France's highest award, the Legion of Honour.

Culture minister Aurelie Filipetti said Dylan had been a hero to young people hungry for justice and independence during his heyday in the 1960s and 70s.

A BBC journalist who attended the ceremony in Paris said Dylan looked uncomfortable as the minister waxed lyrical about his cultural importance.

After the speech, the 72-year-old singer said simply that he was "proud and grateful" and left.

No cameras were allowed for the ceremony. Dylan is playing concerts in Paris this week.

His award was temporarily blocked earlier this year after army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion, voiced reservations about his use of cannabis and anti-war politics.

Established by Napoleon, the Order of the Legion of Honour is presented to individuals who have served France in various ways.