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New York's Met museum to shun Sackler family donations



 People visit the Sackler Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on March 28, 2019 in New York City

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it wants to stop accepting gifts from the Sackler family, linked to OxyContin
                

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Wednesday that it will come from the US Sackler Family, made by the production of opioids.

The billionaire family owns Purdue Pharma, a company that manufactures opioids like OxyContin ̵

1; linked to the deaths of thousands of Americans.

The company has denied allegations that they are downplayed concerns.

The Met's move follows a wave of other decisions.

The National Portrait Gallery and the Tate galleries in London, and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York have already sought to distance themselves from the controversial art patrons.

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Reuters

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The Sacklers own a company which makes opioids – a class of drugs linked to the deaths of thousands of Americans
                

"The museum takes a position of gratitude and respect for those who support us, but on occasion, we feel it's necessary to get involved in public interest, or our institutional interest," said Daniel H Weiss, the president of the Met, according to the New York Times.

Mr White said the museum will not remove the family's name from the Sackler Wing, home to the Temple of Dendur and one of the Met's most popular attractions.

The decision severs a decade-old relationship between the museum and the Sackler family.

The New York Times cited a 1978 news release announcing the dedication of the Sackler Wing, which cost $ 9.5m (£ 8.48m) to build, approximately $ 36 million in today's dollars.

In March, Purdue Pharma reached a $ 270m settlement in a lawsuit which claimed its benefits to the deaths of thousands.

The lawsuit filed by Oklahoma claims that in order to persuade doctors to prescribe their painkillers, Purdue, and other companies seek Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals, allegedly decided to "falsely downplay the risk of opioid addiction" and "overstate" the benefits of their drugs to treat a wide range of conditions.

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Funding from The Sackler Trust has been used for the new Tate Modern building in London
                

The deal is the first Purdue has struck amid some 2,000 other lawsuits linked to its painkiller OxyContin.

The companies deny the claims.

In a statement posted on the Sackler trust website in March, chair of the trust Lady Theresa Sackler wrote that the family would "temporarily break all new philanthropic giving" in the UK because of the heightened scrutiny on Purdue Pharma.

"This attention is distracting them from the important work that they do," she wrote.


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