'Like a rolling stone' statue: Hibbing wants to honor Bob Dylan's Nobel win

With Bob Dylan now the winner of a Nobel Prize for Literature (if he ever accepts it), residents of his birthplace think it's high time their city honored him.
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With Bob Dylan now the winner of a Nobel Prize for Literature (if he ever responds), residents of his birthplace think it's high time their city honored him.

A group of Hibbing citizens is starting a drive to pay for a statue of the legendary musician, who spent most of his childhood in the northern Minnesota city after moving there from Duluth at the age of 6, before leaving to go on to fame and fortune.

It's a serious attempt too, as a meeting being held at the Saint James Episcopal Church on Monday evening that will see the formation of a committee to organize the city's celebrations of Dylan's Nobel win, according to a Facebook notice.

Part of the celebrations will be an as-yet unknown event in the city on Dec. 10, the day after he gets the prize, but organizers Craig Hattam and Larry Furlong also have ambitions to build a life-sized, bronze statue of Dylan outside Hibbing High School.

The Mesabi Daily News reports the pair are aiming to break ground on the statue on May 24, 2018, which will be Dylan's 77th birthday, and they are calling for help to achieve it.

"Alone, I cannot make this happen," Hattam, who for 20 years has been giving tours around the city to Dylan fans, told the newspaper. "I belong to no organization. I have no direct access to the needed funds or funding. I have limited access to power or decision makers. I know absolutely nothing about statue construction ... together, we can get this done."

Duluth statue bid failed

It's not the first attempt to honor Dylan with a statue in Minnesota.

In 2013, a campaign was launched in Duluth to raise $159,000 to commission and build a more than 12-foot bronze statue in the city by local artist Tom Page, but he only managed to raise just over $15,000 through Kickstarter.

MPR News reported the drive was mothballed despite having an endorsement from then Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

There's still a big question over whether Dylan will accept the Nobel Prize, with CNBC reporting the notoriously private musician has "gone to ground" since it was announced last week.

Per Wastberg, who chairs the Nobel Committee for Literature, called Dylan's lack of response as "rude and arrogant" in an interview with Swedish television last week, the CNBC notes.

If the Hibbing committee is looking for sculptors, they might want to try Dylan himself. As well as his music, Dylan is also known for his metal work, and with Vulture reporting he first exhibited his work publicly in London three years ago.

Most recently he created a metal gate for the MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland.

Anyone interesting in helping the Hibbing celebrations can email Craig Hattam at craigdhattam@gmail.com.

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