August 31, 2018 / 11:02 AM / 3 months ago

Swedish Academy members deny full return to scandal-ridden body

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Three Swedish Academy members, who stepped down this year in protest over a sex scandal, said on Friday they might resume participating in some important votes at the body which decides the Nobel Prize for Literature.

However, in an email to Reuters they denied newspaper reports that they would make a full return to the institution that postponed awarding this year’s prize due to the scandal.

“In Swedish media it has been portrayed that we are returning to work at the Swedish Academy. That’s wrong. We could - possibly - participate in more important votes, nothing else,” they said.

The email was signed by literary academic Sara Danius and writers Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund.

The three were among several Academy members who quit in April over the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct made against Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer who is married to poet and Academy member Katarina Frostenson.

Arnault has repeatedly denied all the allegations against him, including of being the source of leaks of the names of some past winners before the formal announcements.

Several Swedish media had reported on Thursday that Danius, Espmark and Englund were making a return to the Academy.

In a further individual email to Reuters, Englund said he could possibly vote in the current election of new members, although he would not be attending any Academy gatherings. “I wish to play a constructive role in the reconstruction of this institution,” Englund said.

The resignations have left the headcount at the Academy, which was originally 18, at 10. It needs at least 12 present to vote for new members.

Reporting by Esha Vaish and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm; editing by David Stamp

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