Two Nobel Prizes for literature this year

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Overview of the Nobel Banquet at the Stockholm City Hall, on December 10.Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2015. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud.

Stockholm– There are going to be two Nobel Prizes winners for literature this year after a sex scandal caused the suspension of last years award, the Swedish Academy said in a statement here on Tuesday.

The much-awaited award had to be postponed last year for the first time since 1949 after the Academy, which annually chooses the winner, was overwhelmed by sexual assault accusations made against Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of Academy member Katarina Frostenson.

“The Nobel Prize in Literature will once again be awarded, and this autumn Laureates for both 2018 and 2019 will be announced,” the Nobel Foundation said in the statement cited by Efe news.

The Academy’s Permanent Secretary Anders Olsson had earlier announced the postponement of the 2018 prize, arguing the organisation needed time to recover “public confidence” after mishandling a string of serious assault allegations.

Arnault was found guilty of rape and sentenced to prison in October.

The literature prize is normally awarded on an annual basis to the author who, according to the wording of the will left by the chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman and philanthropist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, had written “the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.”

The statement said: “During the past year, the Nobel Foundation has had a close dialogue with the Swedish Academy about the problems that arose in late 2017 and early 2018.

“Several new members have been elected. The Academy no longer includes any members who are subject to conflict of interest or criminal investigations.”

The Academy said the steps had been taken to restore trust in the organisation. According to it, five independent external members had been appointed with the idea that they would “add valuable new perspectives” and also participate in the task of selecting Nobel Laureates.

The Academy has undertaken to investigate the issue of how expulsion cases should be handled in the future. (IANS)

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