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Nobel Foundation says 2 literature prizes to be awarded this year

The literature prize was cancelled last year after a mass exodus at the exclusive Swedish Academy following sex abuse allegations

AP | PTI  |  Copenhagen 

Kazuo Ishiguro
2017 Nobel prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro

The foundation behind the in literature said Tuesday the winners of the 2019 and the delayed 2018 editions of the prestigious award will both be announced in October by the Swedish Academy, saying that the scandal-rocked body has revamped itself and restored trust.

The had warned that another group could be picked to award the prize if the academy did not improve its tarnished image.

The foundation said it "believes that the steps that the has taken and intends to take will create good opportunities for restoring trust in the Academy as a prize-awarding institution," according to a statement.

It said "several important changes" have been made, including the change in bylaws making it possible for members to resign, the election of new members, and "the Academy also no longer includes any members who are subject to conflict of interest or criminal investigations."

The foundation said "it will take time to fully restore confidence," adding "the prerequisites for this are now good."

The literature prize was cancelled last year after a mass exodus at the exclusive following sex abuse allegations. Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of a former academy member, was convicted last year for two rapes in 2011. Arnault allegedly also leaked the name of literature winners seven times.

The academy announced May 4 that the prize would be not awarded in 2018 "in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy." It was the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award was not handed out.

In his will, Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, specifically designated the as the institution responsible for the in Literature. Other institutions in and were given the task to find winners for the other Nobel Prizes.

The winners are announced in October and the Nobel Prizes are always presented on the Dec. 10 anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

First Published: Tue, March 05 2019. 18:45 IST