2018 Nobel Prize in Literature postponed

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The Swedish Academy on Friday said that it will postpone the prestigious award this year after it engulfed in a scandal over sexual assault allegations.

The academy says that it will announce the 2018 winner with the 2019 winner next year.

The crisis comes amid handling of allegations against the husband of a member. The scandal is the biggest to hit the prize since it was first awarded in 1901.

The last time the prize was postponed was in 1943 during the World War II.

In a statement on the website, the academy said: “The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy.”

The crisis centers a string of allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a leading cultural figure in Sweden and husband of Katarina Frostenson who is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment that was first reported in a Swedish newspaper last year.

Arnault is also facing the accusation that he touched Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria inappropriately in an event more than 10 years ago. His lawyer said his client denied all the allegations.

The Nobel committee acknowledged the crisis had tarnished the wider organization and welcomed the announcement. “The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize. Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safe ground the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize. None of this impacts the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in other categories,” it said in a statement.

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