Nobel Literature Prize postponed over sexual assault allegation

WION Web Team Sweden May 04, 2018, 01.06 PM(IST)

Nobel Prize. Photograph:( Others )

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This is the first time since 1940 and 1943 during the World War II that the coveted prize has been postponed.

The Swedish Nobel Academy said today it has postponed this year's Nobel Literature Prize after reports of allegation of sexual assault and rape surrounding the Academy.

The Swedish Academy has been dealing with the fallout of allegations of sexual misconduct by the husband of one of its members. 

The controversy over sexual misconduct occurred after photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to Academy member and author Katarina Frostenson, denied all allegations, regarding sexual misconduct and leaking the names of laureates, ahead of the formal announcement.

This is the first time since 1940 and 1943 due to World War II that the coveted prize has been postponed.

"The Swedish Academy intends to decide on and announce the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate," the Nobel Academy said.

"The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy," it said in a statement.

The Academy said it aimed to award two prizes in 2019.

"Work on the selection of a laureate is at an advanced stage and will continue as usual in the months ahead but the Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared," the Nobel Academy said.