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Louvre museum removes name of Sackler family linked to opioid crisis

Sackler family are the owners of Purdue Pharma

Clémence Michallon
New York
Sunday 21 July 2019 16:54
The sun sets behind the Pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris on 3 July, 2019.
The sun sets behind the Pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris on 3 July, 2019.

The Louvre museum in Paris has ended its public association with the Sackler family, which has been tied to the opioid crisis in the United States.

According to The New York Times, a plaque dedicated to the Sacklers’ donations had been removed from the museum on Wednesday, and acknowledgements of the Louvre’s “Sackler wing” had been masked with grey tape in other areas of the museum.

The Sackler family are known for owning Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures OxyContin, a painkiller often cited as one of the drugs involved in the opioid crisis.

Jean-Luc Martinez, the president of the Louvre, was asked during an interview with the French radio station RTL on Tuesday whether the museum would change the name of the Sackler wing.

“I didn’t want to contribute to the polemic, but this naming dates back to 1993,” Martinez said. “In our practices at the Louvre, this naming lasts for 20 years. So I don’t need to change the name of these rooms since they don’t bear the Sackler name anymore.”

The Independent has contacted the Louvre for comment, as well as representatives of the Sackler family.

In March this year, the Tate art galleries group in the UK announced that it would no longer accept future donations from the Sackler family, thought it said it wouldn’t remove references to their past philanthropy.

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One day after Tate’s announcement, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum located in New York City also announced it wouldn’t accept future gifts from the Sacklers.

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