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Nobel Academy badly rocked. By Stephen Gill

The most serious scandal has stained the most esteemed image of the Nobel Academy since 1901 when it awarded its first prize. The scandal has badly paralyzed the committee on literature when a large number of its members resigned, voluntarily and involuntarily. Swedish Academy is now a sad portrait of the conflict of interest painted with the colours of the misuse of power and helpless statutes.

The scandal has led the King, Carl Gustaf xvi, the patron of the Swedish Academy, to invoke his royal powers to resolve the scandal. The Foundation also intervened.

The committee on the Nobel prize in literature has postponed its announcement for the laureate of 2018 to the date when the laureate of 2019 will be announced. This decision is not going to interfere with the schedules of other prizes.

The problems within the academy began to be surfaced when Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily newspaper, reported in November 2017 that the husband of a member of the Nobel committee for literature groped and assaulted a number of women, including the heiress to the thrown of Sweden. According to press reports, the groping of the Crown Princess Victoria was witnessed by her aids who came to her help when he groped her bottom. Investigations revealed that in addition to groping women and assaults in a period of several years, this husband, who had a close tie with the academy, has been allegedly leaking the names of the winners for several years. This helped to flourish betting business. In 1989 both husband and wife founded The Forum, a prestigious literary club in Stockholm, largely with the money of the Swedish Academy. Investigations revealed also financial irregularities.

As per Mr. Anders Olsson, the academy’s interim permanent secretary, there is a need for a “long term and robust work.” I agree with him though I believe the academy needs longer than one year to regain the confidence that was substantially damaged when its prize went to a singer and lyricist in 2016.