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The Swedish Academy announced that this year the highest literary award will not be delivered and that the ruling will be postponed to 2019.
The Swedish Academy reported this Friday (04.05.2018) that this year will not be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the highest award in world literature, and that the ruling will be postponed to 2019, due to the scandal of leaks and alleged sexual abuse that has placed her in a historical crisis.
“We believe that it is necessary to invest time in restoring public confidence in the Academy before being able to announce the next winner,” interim director Anders Olsson said.
The decision was supported by the Nobel Foundation. “His decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help to safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize,” he said. The Foundation administers the legacy of entrepreneur Alfred Nobel, the creator of the awards.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 has been postponed. The Nobel Foundation supports the Swedish Academy’s decision. Press release: https://t.co/eayNN3YgYv
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) May 4, 2018
It is not the first time that the concession of the prize is canceled, that was not delivered between 1940 and 1943, during the Second World War. The old statutes of the Academy also allow two Nobels to be announced the following year, something that the institution has already done in the past.
An unprecedented crisis
The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1901, is immersed in a huge scandal of leaks, corruption
and sexual harassment. Recently the institution itself recognized the seriousness of the crisis. “The Nobel Prize for Literature has suffered serious damage,” he said.
A total of 18 women accused the husband of a member of the Academy of sexual harassment and an investigation of the institution confirmed that there was “unacceptable behavior in the form of unwanted intimacy”. The Swedish media claim that the man in question, Jean-Claude Arnault, even got to touch the butt to Crown Princess Victoria during an event.
His wife, the academic Katarina Frostenson, also raised funds from the Academy for a literary club called Forum that she managed with her husband. Both maintained relations and influence on the Swedish cultural world at the highest level.
Renunciation in the jury
After the scandal several members of the jury resigned from the institution, after an internal investigation was closed without consequences for the couple. Arnault is also accused of having leaked the name of the Nobel winner several times.
The Permanent Secretary of the Academy, Sara Danius, also left her post, as she explained at the request of the institution. As a result, only 10 of the 18 members are active, which puts the Academy’s ability to “carry out its tasks” at serious risk, the Swedish Royal House said.
King Carl XVI Gustaf urged members to assume their responsibility and put the interests of the institution first. “I have followed with great concern the situation in the Swedish Academy in the last time,” said the king on Wednesday (03.05.2018). Now he must work calmly to restore confidence, he added.