Nobel Prize for Literature Postponed after Sexual Misconduct Scandal
(CNN) - This year's Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed in the wake of a sexual and financial scandal that has engulfed the Swedish Academy, the cultural institution responsible for awarding the prestigious prize.
The academy, one of Sweden's most respected institutions, made the announcement Friday morning following a meeting of its remaining active members Thursday evening.
"We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced," Anders Olsson, the academy's permanent secretary, said in a statement. He said the academy was acting "out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public."
The decision does not affect the other Nobel prizes, which are awarded separately. This year's literature laureate will be announced in 2019, the academy said.
The crisis centers on a string of allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a leading cultural figure in Sweden and husband of Katarina Frostenson, who was an academy member until she stepped down in the wake of the scandal. They both run a separate cultural forum, which received funding from the academy.
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 last year. It is also alleged that he touched Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria inappropriately at a Swedish Academy event in 2006. In a statement emailed to CNN earlier this week, Arnault's lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, said his client denied all the allegations.
The revelations caused deep rifts within the organization. Sara Danius, the academy's permanent secretary, and the first woman to hold the post, cut all ties with Arnault and commissioned an independent report from an outside law firm. She was later ousted from her position -- although she remained a member of the academy -- prompting complaints that she was being sacrificed for her desire to bring openness and accountability to the organization.
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