UPPER WEST SIDE — The Nobel Monument is a-changin' — as Bob Dylan and four other Nobel Laureates had their names inscribed onto the honorary piece near the American Museum of Natural History Thursday.
Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver joined the consuls general of Sweden and Norway in Theodore Roosevelt Park Thursday to unveil the names of five Americans who won the Nobel Prize in 2016. The Nobel Monument, created in 2003, is dedicated to Alfred Nobel and the American recipients of Nobel Prizes.
Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in October 2016, but not without controversy. The singer-songwriter's fellow winners included Oliver Hart for his work in economics, Fraser Stoddart for his accomplishments in chemistry, and David J. Thouless and John M. Kosterlitz for their individual achievements in physics.
"I like it when the laureates are someone that people listen to and like," Norway's Consul General Harriet Berg said at the unveiling. "I like the popularity of it. It doesn't have to be every year, but the fact that they're looking somewhere else than normally, I think that's good."
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver (at left) and Consuls General of Norway, Harriet Berg, and Sweden, Leif Pagrotsky, unveil the Nobel Laureates' names on monument.
While Dylan initially ignored the award, the iconic musician eventually accepted the prize in April. Now his name will forever be visible on the Nobel Monument — the only one in a city park that honors people who are still living.
"He's an American hero, he's known for his songwriting literature," Commissioner Silver said. "Regardless of whether he shows up or not, he was selected and we, as Americans, are quite honored." (Dylan did not attend the ceremony.)
"Personally, I enjoy him very much, it's very inspiring," Sweden's Consul General Leif Pagrotsky said of the musician. "It's always refreshing stimulus to listen and to follow the words, and it's vague enough to trigger your own fantasy."