British Museum remove notorious Sackler name from galleries

Members of the Sackler family owned Purdue Pharma, which has been blamed for the opioid crisis in America

Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

The British Museum will no longer feature the Sackler name on any of its galleries, according to its chairman George Osborne. The Sackler family are very closely linked to shamed pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, makers of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin. For many years, activist groups have been fighting for compensation from the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma for the damage caused by their role in America’s opioid crisis.

The decision was likely made in light of a recent court ruling in Connecticut, USA. The Sackler family was ordered to pay out $6 billion in March this year, according to CNN. Furthermore, the ruling allows any institution supported by the family to remove the Sackler name from cultural programs if the family is informed first. This will be a significant blow to the Sackler family, who have vast contributions to cultural and academic programs across the globe.

The British Museum is not the first British cultural centre to remove the name. The Tate galleries announced that they would not receive any more funding from the Sacklers in 2019, and the Serpentine North Gallery removed ‘Sackler’ from its name in 2021. Other museums across the world have made a similar moves to distance themselves from the disgraced family.

The museum’s chairman, George Osborne, revealed the news on twitter:

The lack of fanfare surrounding the announcement may be because the museum doesn’t want to draw any more attention to its partnerships. The museum’s continuing deal with fossil fuel company BP caused outrage earlier this year, with hundreds of academics calling for an end to the sponsorship.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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