British Museum to remove Sackler name from galleries

LONDON – The British Museum will remove the Sackler name from galleries, rooms and endowments following global outrage over the role the family played in the opioid crisis.

The museum is the latest cultural institution to cut ties with the Sacklers. The Sackler name has been removed in recent years from wings and galleries at institutions including the Louvre in Paris and the Serpentine Gallery in London.

The British Museum said it had mutually agreed on the move with trustees of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation, which has supported the museum for more than 30 years.

“The British Museum is grateful for the Foundation’s past support, and the Trustees appreciate their co-operation in coming to this agreement as we now move the museum into a new era and present our incredible collections in different ways for new audiences,” museum Chairman George Osborne said in a statement.

The Sackler name has become synonymous with Purdue Pharma, the company that developed OxyContin, a widely prescribed and widely abused painkiller. Purdue has faced a barrage of lawsuits alleging that it helped spark an addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades.

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The museum said it is developing a new master plan, making this is a “timely opportunity” for the change.

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