Nobel board criticizes Swedish literature group

Sara Danius has held the post of permanent secretary since 2015

Sara Danius has held the post of permanent secretary since 2015

Sara Danius has resigned from her position as the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy.

Her resignation comes amid criticism regarding how the organization, which has picked the victor of the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1901, handled an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by a man married to one of its members.

Earlier this week, academy member Horace Engdahl, reportedly a friend of Arnault's, lashed out at Danius in a scathing editorial where he accused her of being the worst permanent secretary ever.

The departures came after a week of turmoil that has shredded the reputation of one of Sweden's most famous cultural institutions and prompted both the Swedish king and the Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation to demand that the group get its act together before it tarnishes the reputation of the Nobel prizes.

Danius said she had lost the confidence of the academy, but would not comment on whether a vote was held to remove her.

The foundation issued a statement noting that "trust in the Swedish Academy has been seriously damaged" and demanding that the group take specific actions to restore that trust.

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However, Olsson confirmed on Thursday that Frostenson, a member since 1992, was also resigning, "hoping that the Swedish Academy would survive as an institution".

Before the departures of Danius and Frostenson, seven of the academy's 18 members were women. While according to academy rules, members cannot technically resign as appointments are made for life, but they can stop participating in its activities, according to Reuters.

Stockholm prosecutors announced in mid-March that parts of the investigation against the sexual abuse suspect - concerning allegations of rape and assualt between 2013 and 2015 - had been dropped due to lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, Arnault's lawyer Bjorn Hurtig told Reuters, "Jean-Claude Arnault rejects all claims of criminal activity and he rejects other allegations that have been made against him".

The Swedish Academy severed ties with Arnault, whom it had helped financially in running a cultural club in Stockholm, in November following the allegations made against him. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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