No Nobel Prize for literature will be given this year, following a scandal over sexual misconduct allegations that has seen a string of board members resign from the board of the Swedish Academy that awards it, the Nobel Foundation said on Friday.
The foundation said in a statement the intention was to award the 2018 prize next year, along with that year's prize.
The decision was made due to the "currently diminished academy and the reduced public confidence in the academy," a statement read.
"We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced," Anders Olsson, the academy's permanent secretary, said in a statement. He said the academy was acting "out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public."
It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out.
The academy's announcement was made after a deep rift emerged in early April about how to handle allegations raised against one of the academy's members, poet Katarina Frostenson, and her husband, Jean-Claude Arnault.
A law firm was commissioned in November to investigate sexual harassment allegations by 18 women against Arnault. He denies the allegations.
Frostenson was also alleged to have violated the academy's conflict-of-interest rules by failing to disclose she was co-owner of a performance venue run by her husband, which formerly received funding from the academy.
After a vote to exclude Frostenson failed, several members have stepped aside or formally requested to resign.
Eight of the 18 members are no longer active, including Sara Danius, the first woman to head the academy since 1786.
The Nobel Foundation said on Friday it supported the Swedish Academy's decision to postpone naming a Nobel literature laureate in 2018.
"Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize," said the foundation.
The foundation manages the assets endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who created the literature prize and other awards in science and peace. It is also tasked with ensuring the "standing" of the Nobel awards.
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