A major art museum has removed all references to one of its donor families due to their alleged ties to the opioid crisis.
The New York-based Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Thursday it will remove all mention of the Sackler family from its dedicated exhibits, a mutual decision made "to allow The Met to further its core mission," the museum said.
"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 Drs. Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler said in a statement. "The earliest of these gifts were made almost fifty years ago, and now we are passing the torch to others who might wish to step forward to support the Museum."
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Dan Weiss, president and CEO of the Met, said the Sacklers "have been among our most generous supporters."
"This gracious gesture by the Sacklers aids the Museum in continuing to serve this and future generations. We greatly appreciate it," he added.
Art museums worldwide have become resistant to Sackler funding, rejecting financial donations from the benefactors due to their connections to the maker of OxyContin.
While the Met's decision sets a precedent, no other art museums intend to follow suit, according to the New York Times.
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The family's name has been tarnished in the eyes of many due to allegations they have fueled the opioid crisis. In September, a bankruptcy judge signed off on a $10 billion settlement plan for the Sackler's company, Purdue Pharma, over its involvement in selling OxyContin across the United States. The payment plan would allow Purdue to settle the thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against Purdue and require the Sackler family to contribute at least $4.5 billion over nine years to the settlement fund in exchange for immunity in any relevant civil lawsuits.
Nearly 500,000 people have died due to opioid overdose from 1999 through 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.