Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
Sex scandal threatens Nobel Prize for Literature

By Judith Vonberg on 03/05/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 669

•In the eye of the storm: Jean-Claude Arnault
•In the eye of the storm: Jean-Claude Arnault

The institution that awards the Nobel Prize for Literature is mired in a sexual and financial scandal so deep that this year's prize may be postponed for the first time in more than seven decades.

In recent weeks, six members of the Swedish Academy – one of Sweden’s most highly respected cultural bodies – have stepped down, including the head of the institution, Sara Danius. The flurry of withdrawals is potentially catastrophic for the 230-year-old academy, whose members, elected by secret ballot, must be approved by the King and traditionally hold their positions for life.

With just 10 remaining active members, the group is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the fate of this year’s literature prize, even though historically, 12 members have been required for a quorum.

In 1943 – the last time the literature prize was postponed – it was the height of World War II and the Nazis ruled much of the European continent.

This time, the crisis centres on Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer and husband of poet Katarina Frostenson, one of the six academy members to step down. Arnault, a leading cultural figure in Sweden, is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment, first reported in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter late last year. In an emailed statement to CNN, Arnault’s lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, said his client denies all the allegations.

The academy is also under fire for contravening its own conflict of interest regulations by providing funding to the Kulturplats Forum, a cultural centre run by Arnault and Frostenson.

‘Unwanted intimacy

The scandal, reaching to the heart of a globally respected institution and rooted in a country hailed as a model for gender equality, has sent shockwaves around the world.

Last November, as the #MeToo movement gained momentum, 18 women came forward to accuse a man, later identified as Arnault, of a range of sexual misconduct between 1996 and 2017. Two of the 18, Gabriella Hakansson and Elise Karlsson, spoke on the record. CNN has not independently verified the women’s claims.

The following day, the academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius said that the institution had cut all ties with Arnault in light of the reported allegations and additional claims that some academy staff and members’ relatives had experienced “unwanted intimacy” at the hands of Arnault.

An independent investigation carried out by a Swedish law firm in the following months found that financial rules had been breached in the funding of Arnault’s cultural forum and revealed that “unacceptable behaviour by (Arnault) in the form of unwanted intimacy had indeed taken place, but the knowledge was not widely spread in the Academy.”

But the team of lawyers also discovered that the academy had received a letter in 1996 outlining alleged sexual assault at Arnault’s cultural forum, indicating that November was not the first time that at least some members of the Academy were aware that the photographer’s name had been connected with misconduct. In its statement, the organisation said it “deeply regrets that the letter was shelved and no measures taken to investigate the charges.”

Ebba Witt-Brattstroem, the former wife of Horace Engdahl, permanent secretary of the academy from 1999 to 2009 and currently a member of the Nobel Committee for Literature, has also cast doubt on the claim that its members were largely unaware of Arnault’s alleged misconduct.

“Everyone knew and you were supposed to think nothing of it,” she told CNN. She was “not at all surprised” when she read about the allegations in November. “It was very well known all over in the cultural field. People knew that young women weren’t supposed to go close to him.” (CNN)

 

Source News Express

Posted 03/05/2018 2:40:35 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
11 Boko Haram fighters arrested in Borno, 2...

Couple bathed with acid while making love in...

Bishop Ikeakor to Obiano: Banning okada in Anambra...

Police smashes armed robbery gang during Abuja operation...

American man disowns daughter for marrying a Nigerian...

Niger State set to deliver a million tonnes...

Shiites Demand Unconditional Release of Sheik Zakzaky

Rangers declares striker missing

Lecturers at Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti declare indefinite...

Saraki frowns at SaharaReporters’ story, says it is...

South-West APC leaders meet over Ekiti

Shekarau, 3 others detained; to be docked for...

 

Latest News SARS Reforms: 20 questions that must be answered PREMIUM TIMES Reporter, Ogundipe, regains freedom from Police custody Okorocha, Madumere and Imo Deputy Governorship Why Buhari will win 2019 presidential election — Bloomberg Mother hangs children after recording their goodbye messages 2019: INEC issues Sept 15 deadline for party primaries Prophetess nabbed over sale of day-old baby 2019 Imo Governorship: On Owerri zone we stand — Engr. Njoku •Drums support for Deputy Governor Madumere Osogbo landlords beg Aregbesola to pay N2bn compensation promised since 2014 LAUTECH: ASUU calls for Ajimobi, Aregbesola’s resignation 51 Kebbi drivers abducted: Governor Bagudu UN counters FG, says ‘huge ransom’ paid for release of Dapchi girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (377,738 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (366,648 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (296,353 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (241,915 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (222,699 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (217,149 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (192,610 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (174,767 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (159,654 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (158,350 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (152,758 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (143,060 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (56) Business & Economy (3,459) Business Verdict (48) Columnists (911) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (528) Features (636) Global Business Monitor (294) International (2,275) Interview (161) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (134) News (38,078) Opinion (1,060) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,066) Religion (819) Sports (1,647) Stock Watch (33) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid 2-4 Highlights and Goals

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement