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The Louvre Removes, Tapes Over Name Of Opioid-Profiteering Donor Family

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Prestigious Paris art museum the Louvre has removed or taped over the name of opioid-profiteering donor family the Sacklers, the namesake of one of its wings since 1997.

Museum guard Sophie Aguirre said Wednesday that the plaque for the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities was taken down on July 8 or 9 while the wing was closed to visitors, reported The New York Times.

The plaque acknowledged the Sacklers’ donations to the Louvre, and roughly 10 signs with the family name have been taped over or removed throughout the museum. Even references to “the Sackler Wing” on the Louvre’s website are gone, reported The NYT.

The Louvre is the first major museum to remove the Sackler name after new information that family members headed a deceit campaign to push the highly addictive prescription opioid OxyContin.


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THE LOUVRE HAS REMOVED THE SACKLER NAME FROM ITS WALLS Our group, along with @assoaides , staged a direct action at the Louvre on July 1st 2019 demanding that the Sackler name be removed from the 12 rooms in the museum’s Oriental Antiquities Wing. This is a huge milestone for our group and for countless other groups pushing arts institutions to divest from dirty money. This is ALSO a win for groups raising awareness of harm reduction and destigmatizing drug use in order to prioritize proper care. Sackler is synonymous with the opioid crisis. This family is the face behind the man-made plague that has decimated the US and threatens to do the same to others across the globe. The populations they victimized through opioid profiteering deserve compassion and respect. Harm reduction and safe consumption save lives. Thank you to the many groups that have helped us get to this point and to those working in solidarity with this cause @vocalnewyork @truthpharm @cpdaction @ryanjhampton @decolonizethisplace @museumdetox @culture_unstained @actupny @actupboston @actup_paris @housingworks @bethmacy @queerappalachia @risenresistnyc @manon_lutanie @surspect We call upon all other institutions bearing the Sackler name to do what they must to tear this family and their heinous legacy from their walls. Your move @metmuseum @guggenheim @diaartfoundation @amnh @tate @harvardartmuseums @smithsonian @brooklynmuseum HASHTAGS #shameonsackler #takedowntheirname #sacklerpain #nangoldin #opioidcrisis #accountability #sackler #sacklergallery #harmreduction #safeconsumption #endoverdoseny #newyork #pain #directaction #endoverdose #oxycontin #opioidepidemic #fundrehab #pharma #purdue

A post shared by P.A.I.N. (@sacklerpain) on Jul 17, 2019 at 7:01am PDT

Other museums around the world have reacted to the information as well. The largest museum in the U.S., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced May 15 it will stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family still associated with Purdue Pharma. Other museums, like the Smithsonian Institution have not removed the Sackler name and cite legal reasons, according to The NYT.

The Louvre’s president Jean-Luc Martinez said Tuesday on French radio that the Sackler name vanished because of museum policy that naming rights last 20 years. Museum spokeswoman Nadia Refsi did not respond to The NYT’s queries about why the change did not come in 2013, since the name dates back to 1993, the paper reported.

The Louvre’s quiet decision followed July 1 protests demanding “Take down the Sackler name” by artist-activist Nan Goldin and her organization Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN).

“Museums and cultural institutions must maintain their integrity,” PAIN said in a statement Wednesday according to The NYT. “They should not bear the name that is synonymous with the opioid crisis. Our museums belong to the artists and to the public, not to the donors.”

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Evie Fordham

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