The head of the Swedish Academy Sara Danius who selects the winner of the Nobel prize for literature has stepped down in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal.
She announced her decision on Thursday finishing a three-hour emergency meeting of academy members in central Stockholm.
The organisation has been criticised due to its handling of a probe into the alleged sexual misconduct of a man married to one of its members.
The public row and defections from the academy have raised concerns that the image of the Nobel prizes and Sweden’s reputation abroad could suffer.
“It has already affected the Nobel Prize quite severely and that is quite a big problem,” said Sara Danius, as she resigned.
On Wednesday, the Nobel Foundation board sharply criticized the Swedish Academy, stating the group was threatening to spoil the reputation of the Nobel prize.
18 women were victims of harassment and physical abuse by the accused man and it lead them to submit their resignations.
The academy, which is under the direct patronage of the Norwegian king, is traditionally very meticulous and has been deeply shaken by the scandal.
The Swedish police have opened an investigation. The academy has severed all ties with Mr. Arnault and with the club, and hired a law firm to review its past links to him.
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