New York City’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced it will remove the Sackler family name from seven of its exhibition spaces following years of outcry and public demonstrations over the family’s ties to and profit from the opioid crisis.
“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,” descendants of Dr. Mortimer Sackler and Dr. Raymond Sackler said in a statement released by the museum Thursday.
The statement did not mention the opioid crisis and only said that the decision was “mutually agreed” upon “in order to allow The Met to further its core mission.”
The Sackler name will be removed from exhibits including the wing that houses the iconic Temple of Dendur, whose moat was deluged with mock pill bottles during a 2018 “die-in” protest over the Big Pharma donor’s contribution to the museum.
A year after that demonstration, the Met, America’s largest museum, announced that it would stop accepting money from the Sackler family, which developed the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin through the company Purdue Pharma. The Met declined, however, to remove the family’s name from its walls.
The Louvre Museum in Paris was the first major cultural institution to scrub the Sackler name from its walls in 2019, though it reasoned that this was because of an expired 20-year limit on naming rights.