(NEW YORK) — The Metropolitan Museum of Art is dropping the Sackler name from seven exhibition spaces amid growing outrage over the role the family may have played in the opioid crisis.
New York’s museum announced Thursday jointly with the Sackler family that it and their rich benefactors had decided to part ways. Raymond, Arthur and Mortimer Sackler donated $3.5million to the building in 1970. The name of the wing comes from their brothers.
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“Our families have always strongly supported The Met, and we believe this to be in the best interest of the Museum and the important mission that it serves,” Sackler descendants said in a statement.
Raymond, Mortimer, and Arthur Sackler all passed away, but their descendants are currently the principal owners of Purdue Pharma. This company is responsible for OxyContin’s development, which was widely used and prescribed.
A bankruptcy judge conditionally approved the September settlement, in which Purdue Pharma was sold to the Sacklers for $4.5B and that they would pay $4.5B. In return, they would be exempt from any future lawsuits. Victims’ families and A group of countries criticized the agreement. In late 2020, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty.
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Families like the Sacklers have funded Yale and Oxford through foundations.
The Guggenheim in New York, the Tate, London, Paris and Louvre, as well as the Jewish Museum in Berlin, have separated themselves from the family in recent years. 2019 was the Met’s first year of announcing that it would no longer accept financial gifts from Purdue Pharma Sacklers.