Here Are The Major Museums That Refuse The Sackler’s Money—Though Some Keep The Name Up

The Sacklers had already agreed to end their relationship with Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma in a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday. They made a fortune from the addictive opioid. Millions of these drugs were donated by the family to cultural institutions throughout the U.S. and Europe. Here's a list of museums that still have them and which ones don't.

Sign welcomes you to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Sackler Wing. Getty Images

The Key Facts


Many museums that pledged not to accept donations from the family have wings, educational centres, and elevators named after them, such as the Met, Guggenheim, and Tate Modern. Other museums that have ties to the Sacklers, such as London's V&A Museum where Theresa Sackler, the widow of Mortimer Sackler, was a trustee for many years, and the British Museum which has several rooms and a gallery named after Raymond and Beverly Sackler, have not indicated they are going to drop the family name. Some museums, such as the Smithsonian, cannot rename their Sackler galleries due to perpetuity clauses in donor agreements.

People visit the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It contains the Temple of... [+] dendur. Getty Images

Big Number

$10.8 billion Forbes estimates that the Sackler family is worth $10.8 billion, making it one of the 30 wealthiest families in the country.

What to Watch

After the bankruptcy agreement is over, it will be interesting to see if other museums remove the Sackler name. In 2019, the Met informed the New York Times that the museum would not make permanent changes to the Sackler Wing's name, while the family was in court and new information emerged.

Important Background

Wednesday's approval by a federal judge of Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy settlement was a $10 billion deal. This will bring to an end thousands of lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, and protect the Sacklers in future civil actions. The settlement will see the Sacklers pay $4.3 billion to the company and end all ties with it. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 500,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in the period 1999-2019.

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Judge Approves Purdue Pharma Settlement that Protects Sacklers from Being Sued (Forbes).