Swedish Academy head quits Nobel body amid sexual misconduct scandal

Sara Danius has held the post of permanent secretary since 2015

Sara Danius has held the post of permanent secretary since 2015

The head of the Swedish Academy that selects the victor of the Nobel prize for literature has resigned amid a growing crisis over the body's handling of sexual harassment allegations made against a man with close links to the institution.

King Carl XVI Gustaf said this week that he may consider reforming the Swedish Academy, established in 1786 by his forebear Gustav III.

The head of the Nobel literature prize panel has resigned over her handling of sexual harassment allegations made against the husband of one of its members.

Arnault's wife, Katarina Frostenson, has also been forced out of the academy recently in a scandal that threatens to hurt the image of the acclaimed body. His lawyer told Reuters that he rejected all the claims against him.

State prosecutors are continuing to investigate incidents related to the allegations, Reuters reports.

The academy cut all ties with Arnault, who ran a cultural club in Stockholm and was responsible for an apartment the institute owns in Paris, in November after the allegations. The paper said that included Bob Dylan in 2016 as well as French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio in 2008 and British playwright Harold Pinter in 2005.

It has also launched an internal investigation and enlisted the services of a law firm.

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Neither Frostenson nor the academy would elaborate.

She was ousted on Thursday from her role as permanent secretary - the de facto public face of the literature prize - as part of a feud that has bitterly divided the academy's board.

"I am leaving the Academy as permanent secretary". "It feels pretty good". Englund and Espmark both declined to comment on the row on Friday, while Ostergren did not respond to requests for comment.

After a board meeting Wednesday, 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. The scandal "has already affected the Nobel Prize quite severely and that is quite a big problem", said Danius.

"We are trying to reconstruct the Academy from within".

Members of the secretive academy are appointed for life and resignations are extremely rare.

Still, the loss of members leaves the committee at a crossroads. Members are appointed for life and can not technically resign.

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