Name giver of the renowned children's book prize: Hans-Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Bettmann / Bettmann Archives
The chair of the jury for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Prize for children's and young adult literature has resigned after anger over her appointment.
The Russian Anastassija Arkhipova has submitted her resignation as jury president for the 2024 prize, the organization responsible, the Basel-based International Board on Books for Young People (Ibby), announced on Tuesday evening.
The Ibby Executive Committee has accepted the resignation and appointed former Executive Director Liz Page to lead the jury process as Interim Chair.
The illustrator Archipowa was elected chair of the international award jury at a congress of the organization in Malaysia in September 2022.
With a view to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, several national Ibby departments had recently called for their resignation.
Arkhipova has been accused of sitting for four years on the board of a Moscow artists' association called MOCX, which hosted a competition called »Agitfront« in the fall of 2022.
It was asked to draft propaganda materials for Russia's war in Ukraine;
the winning design should be shown at a victory exhibition.
The children's book illustrator emphasized that she knew nothing about the competition.
Nevertheless, Arkhipova is "aware of the perception of the world outside," as an Ibby statement put it.
Out of consideration for the importance of the organization's work and its reputation in the world, she has decided to resign from her post.
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II retired a week ago as patron of the prize, which is named after her compatriot Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).
It is awarded every two years and is considered one of the most important international awards for children's and youth literature.