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The award to Italian performance artist Dario Fo in 1997 was initially considered "rather lightweight"  by some critics, as he was seen primarily as a performer, and Catholic organizations saw the award to Fo as controversial as he had previously been censured by the Roman Catholic Church .  The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano expressed surprise at Fo's selection for the prize commenting that "Giving the prize to someone who is also the author of questionable works is beyond all imagination."  Salman Rushdie and Arthur Miller had been strongly favoured to receive the Prize, but the Nobel organisers were later quoted as saying that they would have been "too predictable, too popular."