Guggenheim Museum Will Not Accept Gifts From Sackler Family Over Ties to Opioid Crisis

N.Y. museum joins London's Tate museums and National Portrait Gallery in decision not to accept Sackler donations due to links to OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma

File Photo: A sign with the Sackler name is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, January 17, 2019.
AP

The Guggenheim Museum announced that it would not accept new gifts from the Sackler family because of its company Purdue Pharma’s ties to the opioid crisis.

The New York City museum joins the Tate museums in London in deciding to stop taking gifts from the Jewish family that has been their benefactors for decades, The New York Times reported Monday.

>> Read more: Sackler name is everywhere at Tel Aviv U., but not the opioid controversy plaguing the family ■ Opioid suits against Sackler family's Purdue may cost Teva up to $3 billion

Demonstrators protested last month outside of the Guggenheim urging the museum to remove the family’s name from its Sackler Center for Arts Education.

Last week, the National Portrait Gallery in London announced that it will not accept a donation of $1.3 million from the Sacklers.

On Tuesday, Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma announced that they would settle a lawsuit over the company’s role in misleading doctors and patients about the dangers of the opioid painkiller OxyContin produced by the company.

The out-of-court deal will require Purdue and the family to pay approximately $270 million. Most of the money will fund a new center for research, education and treatment of addiction and pain at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, The Washington Post reported.

U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson and Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries are slated to go to trial in the same case on May 28. The lawsuit was filed originally in June 2017.

Oklahoma claims that Purdue, Johnson & Johnson and Teva bear some responsibility for thousands of opioid deaths across the state, in addition to the health care, law enforcement and treatment costs of the state’s addiction crisis, according to the Post. Thirty-six other states also have or are bringing lawsuits against Purdue.

The company has acknowledged that it could go into bankruptcy as a way of handing the barrage of lawsuits, according to the newspaper.