Here are the main museums that refuse the Sackler’s money, although some keep the name


Top line

Before the Sacklers agreed to sever ties with Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma in a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday, the family made their fortunes on opioids and other addictive drugs, which the family made. donating millions to cultural institutions in the United States and Europe in exchange for having their names engraved on them, but here are which museums still display them, which don’t and which refused to accept Sackler’s money at the future.


Serpentine North Gallery: Formerly known as Serpentine Sackler Gallery, the Museum of London erased the family name in March, but denied it was the family’s legal issues, instead saying it was part of a ” rebranding process, “although the Serpentine said in 2019 that it would no longer accept donations from Sackler.

The Louvre: The largest museum in the world was also the first major cultural institution to remove the Sacklers in 2019, when it removed the surname from its 12-room Near Eastern Antiquities wing, which bore the name of Sackler since 1997, although he also argued that this was a policy that limited naming rights to 20 years, not the Sackler’s opioid ties.

National Portrait Gallery, London: The Trafalgar Square Museum refused a $ 1.3 million Sackler Trust donation in 2019, marking the first time a major museum has publicly refused Sackler’s money.

The Tate: The British art gallery group said shortly after that Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London and the Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool branches would refuse future family donations.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: America’s largest museum has also said it will stop taking Sackler money in 2019, but has not removed the family name from its Sackler wing, which houses the temple. Egyptian Dendur, one of the Met’s most popular features.

The South London Gallery: Camberwell’s tiny art space received a $ 172,000 grant from the Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation in 2018, a full year before major museums moved to sever ties with family.


Many museums that have pledged to refuse family donations still have wings, educational centers, and even elevators still named after the Sacklers like the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Tate Modern. Other museums linked to the Sacklers have given no indication that they plan to drop the surname, most notably the V&A Museum in London, where Mortimer Sackler’s widow Theresa Sackler was a longtime administrator, and the British Museum, which has a series of rooms and a gallery named for Raymond and Beverly Sackler. Others, like the Smithsonian museum system, are unable to rename their Sackler galleries because of perpetuity clauses in donation agreements.

Large number

$ 10.8 billion. That’s what the Sackler family is worth, Forbes estimated last year, making it one of the 30 richest families in the country.

What to watch out for

Whether more museums would remove Sackler’s name after the bankruptcy deal was cleared. The Met told the New York Times In 2019, the museum would not make any permanent changes to the Sackler Wing’s name while the family remained in court and new information came to light.

Key context

A federal judge on Wednesday approved the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy settlement in a $ 10 billion deal that will end thousands of lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and protect the Sacklers from future civil lawsuits. As part of the settlement, the Sacklers will personally spend $ 4.3 billion and sever ties with the company. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 500,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2019.

Further reading

Judge approves Purdue Pharma settlement that protects sacklers from lawsuits (Forbes)

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kurt watkins

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