The British Museum will remove the Sackler name from galleries, rooms, and endowments following global outrage over the role the family played in the opioid crisis. The museum is the latest cultural institution to cut ties with the Sacklers. The Sackler name has been removed in recent years from wings and galleries at institutions including the Louvre in Paris and the Serpentine Gallery in London. The British Museum said it had mutually agreed on the move with trustees of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation, which has supported the museum for more than 30 years, the AP reports.
"The British Museum is grateful for the Foundation’s past support, and the Trustees appreciate their co-operation in coming to this agreement as we now move the museum into a new era and present our incredible collections in different ways for new audiences," museum Chairman George Osborne said in a statement. The Sackler name has become synonymous with Purdue Pharma, the company that developed OxyContin, a widely prescribed and widely abused painkiller. Purdue has faced a barrage of lawsuits alleging that it helped spark an addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the US over the past two decades.
The museum said it is developing a new master plan, making this is a "timely opportunity" for the change. The statement said the museum has not been asked to return any of the Sackler donations, per ARTnews. In its settlement with nine US state attorney generals and the District of Columbia, the Sacklers said they would not object to their name being removed from institutions. (Read more Sackler stories.)