Met to remove Sackler’s name from galleries

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Sackler family jointly announced today that the Met will be removing the Sackler name from the seven exhibition spaces that bear it. Perhaps the most notable of these is the 1978 glass-and-steel Sackler Wing, which houses the Egyptian temple of Dendur, a favorite among visitors. The news is not unexpected, given the pressure on the Met and other major institutions to sever ties with the Sackler family due to its members’ involvement in the Purdue Pharma opioid scandal.

“Our families have always been strong supporters of the Met and believe it is in the best interest of the museum and the important mission it serves,” descendants of Dr Mortimer Sackler and Dr Raymond Sackler said in a statement. “The first of these donations was made almost fifty years ago, and now we are passing the torch to others who may wish to get involved in supporting the Museum. “

The decision to remove the names was taken by museum officials and members of the Sackler family, in an effort to allow the museum to move forward unimpeded by the now tainted relationship, a relationship that had been hugely beneficial to both parties ahead of public disclosures. and subsequent lawsuits regarding Purdue’s aggressive marketing of the highly addictive pain reliever OxyContin. The Met announced in 2019 that it would decline any further donations from members of the Sackler family. Earlier this year, members of the Sackler family linked to Purdue were ordered by the U.S. bankruptcy court to pay $ 4.5 billion of their personal wealth to the creation of prevention and drug addiction programs. The decision was criticized by many as a slap on the wrist.

“It has been a real lesson in the corruption of this country to watch this tribunal, that billionaires have a different judicial system than us, and they can actually get away with it unscathed,” he said. artist Nan Goldin. new York magazine at the time. Goldin, who founded the advocacy group PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) after becoming addicted to OxyContin following an injury, for years led efforts to keep members of the Sackler family from “Wash art” of the profits made from Purdue through large donations made to museums in exchange for a name. rights. “A big problem for us, it’s the museums that are dismantling [the Sackler] name, ”Goldin said. “We ruined their reputation, which was of the utmost importance to them. “

“The Met was built through the philanthropy of generations of donors, and the Sacklers have been among our most generous supporters,” Met President and CEO Dan Weiss said in a statement. “This gracious gesture of the Sacklers helps the museum continue to serve this generation and future generations. We greatly appreciate it.


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