The Metropolitan Museum drops the Sackler name from its galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will remove the Sackler surname from its galleries. The museum previously contained seven exhibition spaces, including a popular wing housing the ancient Egyptian temple of Dendur, named after members of the Sackler family.
The announcement comes as a wave of institutions, including the Louvre, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, have severed ties with the Sackler family after years of protests against Purdue Pharma , the company primarily owned by family members. The company manufactured the pain reliever Oxycontin and has been accused of fueling the opioid epidemic in the United States. (According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in nearly 50,000 overdose deaths in 2019, or 70.6% of all overdose deaths in the United States that year.)
The Met and the descendants of Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler, the brothers who helped establish Sackler’s multigenerational fortune, said in a joint statement that “we believe this is in the best interest of the museum and the important mission that ‘it serves. “, and that” the first of these donations was made almost 50 years ago, and now we are passing the torch to others who might want to come forward to support the museum. “
Dan Weiss, President and CEO of the Met, adds, âThe Met was built on the philanthropy of generations of donors, and the Sacklers have been among our most generous supporters. This gracious gesture of the Sacklers helps the Museum continue to serve present and future generations.
In October last year, the US Department of Justice announced that members of the Sackler family involved in Purdue Pharma had agreed to pay $ 225 million in civil penalties to resolve allegations that the aggressive marketing of Oxycontin had prompted doctors to over-prescribe the drug. The settlement also allowed the Sacklers to claim that the assets of Purdue Pharma had been transferred to holding companies and trusts to protect the company from bankruptcy. In settling this bankruptcy case, the Sacklers, many of their associates and their network of trusts and corporations were granted immunity future opioid lawsuits.
Artist Nan Goldin, who suffers from opioid addiction, has led numerous protests against the Sacklers with the activist group Pain (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) since 2018, including a protest where protesters threw hundreds of prescription vials in the moat surrounding the Temple of Dendu.