Culture&Arts

Swedish Academy Cancels 2018 Nobel Prize For Literature

Swedish Academy Cancels 2018 Nobel Prize For Literature

It is very rare for the award of Nobel prizes to be canceled or postponed.

The academy said yesterday the 2018 prize would be given in 2019.

Arnault, a French photographer who has attended many Swedish Academy events, faces multiple claims of sexual assault and harassment, first reported in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter late previous year.

Arnault is facing allegations of touching Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria in an inappropriate manner among other sexual allegations. He has denied the allegations through a lawyer, the New York Times reports.

The revelations caused deep rifts within the organization.

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Sara Danius, the academy's permanent secretary, was ousted from her position earlier this year, which many claimed was a result of her efforts to investigate the matter. The conflict has led to eight Academy members leaving their chairs.

Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel had set up the prizes in his will in 1895.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is broken.

The Nobel Prizes for other categories are not impacted by this decision, and will go ahead as planned later this year.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature will be postponed until next year, according the Swedish Academy, the body of writers and linguists that awards the annual prize (NBC News). The last time the literature prize was not awarded was in 1943, at the height of World War Two. Arnault was also accused of leaking the names of seven former Nobel winners.

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The academy said the decision had been made due to a lack of public confidence. The scandal created a rift among members of the organisation.

Currently, there are only ten active members in the academy.

Arnault, who ran a cultural project with funding from the Swedish Academy, has been accused by 18 women of sexual assault and harassment, first reported in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in late 2017. Apart from the prestige associated with being the jury of arguably the world's most coveted prize, memberships are for life and resignations imply vacant seats for the lifetime of the abdicating jury member.

Last year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature was Japan-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, author of the 1989 Man Booker Prize-winning "The Remains of the Day". One of the circumstances that may justify an exception is when a situation in a prize-awarding institution arises that is so serious that a prize decision will not be perceived as credible.

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