Swedish Academy Head Steps Down Amidst Criticism

By Frankie Fouganthin from Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the head of the Swedish Academy stepped down following criticism of how the institution, which chooses the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, handled an investigation into allegations regarding the sexual misconduct by a man who is married to one of its members.

Last week, three members of the said Academy already withdrew amidst the issue. However, arcane rules that make appointments for life say that members technically cannot resign. However, they may stop participating in the activities.

Sara Danius informed reporters: “It was the wish of the Academy that I should leave my role as Permanent Secretary.

“I have made this decision with immediate effect.”

The accusations of sexual harassment and assault were made against the husband of Academy member Katarina Frostenson, Jean-Claude Arnault.

On Thursday, an emailed comment was sent to Reuters by Bjorn Hurtig, the lawyer of Arnault. He said that his client denied all the allegations against him.

Hurtig stated: “Jean-Claude Arnault rejects all claims of criminal activity and he rejects other allegations that have been made against him.”

Prosecutors of the State opened an initial probe into the incidents. However, last month, it said that some parts of the investigation had been shelved because of a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations has passed for some of the incidents.

However, the prosecutors said that the investigation that is related to some incidents was continuing.

Last November, the Swedish Academy cut its ties with Arnault, whom it had financially helped in running a cultural club that is located in Stockholm, following the allegations that were made against him.