The Sackler family interrupts their donations as the largest museums form links with the manufacturer of OxyContin


A major philanthropic family trust suspends all donations following the opioid scandal that surrounds it – while some of the world's most renowned museums, which receive donations, have begun to announce that they will no longer accept charity of the trust.

The Sackler family has been examined in the light of a legal battle involving the pharmaceutical group it owns, Purdue Pharma.

The Sackler Trust regularly donates to museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Museums in the United Kingdom (UK), but now these museums and other people are examining or refuse Sackler's donations as a result of lawsuits against certain family members. and Purdue Pharma.

The president of the Sackler Trust issued a statement Tuesday stating that "the attention of the current press generated by these court cases in the United States has created immense pressure on the scientific, medical, educational and artistic institutions of the US. United Kingdom ", adding that" This attention distracts them from the important work they are doing. "

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.(PHOTO STOCK / Getty Images) The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

"Sackler Trust's directors made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend any new philanthropic donations, while honoring existing commitments," said Dame Theresa Sackler, president of the Sackler Trust, in a statement released on behalf of the directors.

"I am deeply saddened by the drug crisis in the United States and support Purdue Pharma's actions to help remedy the situation, while rejecting the false accusations against the company and several members of the Sackler family", reads in his statement.

The statement ends by noting their continued commitment to the causes, but "for the moment, it is better for the Trust Fund to stop all new donations until we can be sure that it will not distract the institutions that are applying for grants. ".

The Tate Modern Museum in London.(PHOTO STOCK / Getty Images) The Tate Modern Museum in London.

The decision to suspend charitable donations comes after several prestigious institutions have already cut or loosened their ties to the controversial family.

The President and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art issued a statement in which he stated that they "were conducting a review of our gift acceptance policies," while acknowledging that funds received from the Sackler family over the years "reflected the usual complexity of this surface."

"The Sacklers began supporting the Met more than 50 years ago – decades before the invention of opioids and the public health crisis that ensued." The contemporary Sackler family is numerous and the relationships between Purdue Pharma and its affiliates vary Daniel Weiss in his statement, adding that they had not received any gifts from the family in the past two years.

The Guggenheim Museum noted that although they received a total of $ 9 million in family donations between 1995 and 2015, they have not received any gifts since.

"No additional gifts are planned, and the Guggenheim does not plan to accept any gifts," the museum said in its statement, without however suggesting that it would return previous gifts.

The Smithsonian, whose gallery bears the name of donor Arthur M. Sackler, issued in February a statement stating that the gallery opened its doors in 1987 – the same year of his death, and "eight years before the approval of the sale of OxyContin ". Notes.

In a subsequent statement, Linda St. Thomas, the principal spokesperson for the Smithsonian Institution, said that "at the present time, we have no intention of making a donation to a member of the Sackler family ".

The National Portrait Gallery in London.(PHOTO STOCK / Getty Images) The National Portrait Gallery in London.

A similar distancing took place on the other side of the pond, with Tate galleries, which include museums such as Tate Modern and Tate Britain, confirming in a statement to ABC News that although the family has "given generously to the Tate in the past", she will not do it. removes references to Sackler's previous donations, but will no longer accept any donations from the family.

The National Portrait Gallery also announced last week that it would not accept what the New York Times described as a $ 1.3 million donation discussed for a long time.

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