Friday, 4 May 2018

Nobel Prize for Literature delayed amid sex scandal, organisers say



The Nobel Prize for Literature will be not awarded this year over concerns that a "crisis" in the Swedish Academy is so serious that a prize decision would not be perceived as credible, organisers say.

Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement posted on Twitter: "The Swedish Academy [which decides the award] has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, with the intention of awarding it in 2019."
 
 
The Nobel Foundation said that the "crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize".


It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out.


Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer married to one of the members, is at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations.


The prestigious Academy commissioned a law firm to investigate the matter. It found "unacceptable behaviour in the form of unwanted intimacy" from the man had occurred, but that this had not been "generally known" within the Academy, it said.


The Academy has said the investigation would be turned over to law enforcement agencies.


Mr Arnault's denies all allegations of sexual harassment.
 
 
A second scandal engulfed the prestigious institution when it emerged that names of some previous prize winners had been leaked in advance, prompting the institution to pledge to redraw the rules governing how it functions.


The events led to the resignations of Academy members former permanent secretary Sara Darius and Katarina Frostenson, who is married to Mr Arnault.


Chairman Heldin said: "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize.


"Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize. None of this impacts the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in other prize categories.


"The Nobel Foundation presumes that the Swedish Academy will now put all its efforts into the task of restoring its credibility as a prize-awarding institution and that the Academy will report the concrete actions that are undertaken.


"We also assume that all members of the Academy realise that both its extensive reform efforts and its future organisational structure must be characterised by greater openness towards the outside world."




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