Protests erupted inside New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Saturday night as demonstrators demanded the museum ditch its ties with the Sackler family ― the owners of Purdue Pharma, manufacturer and marketer of prescription painkiller OxyContin.
The museum’s Sackler Center for Arts Education, which includes multimedia labs and lecture theatres sprawled out over 8,200-square feet, was a gift from the family and opened to the public in 2001.
Footage of the incident uploaded to Twitter show leaflets being thrown from one of the museum’s upper walkways as some protesters staged a die-in.
Designed to look like prescription slips, the leaflets were a response to allegations made in a court filing that a member of the Sackler family had predicted the launch of the opioid painkiller would be “followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.”
Oxycodone, the drug’s active ingredient, is among the most common painkillers in prescription opioid deaths. Per the Associated Press, Purdue Pharma, its executives and members of the Sackler family were recently accused of deceiving patients and doctors about the risk of opioids and allegedly pushed prescribers of the drug to keep patients on it for longer.
The museum did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the protests.
The latest demonstration comes after protesters targeted the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year for its ties to the family, tossing mock pill bottles into the moat at the Temple of Dendur ― housed in the museum’s Sackler wing ― which were labeled: “Prescribed to you by the Sackler Family.”
The New York Times reports that after leaving the Guggenheim, several of the protesters marched down Fifth Avenue with a barrier that read “Shame on Sackler.”