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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

London museum renounces gift of 1 Million Pounds from patron, owner of Oxycontin

The Sackler family owes its fortune to Purdue Pharma , an unlisted Wall Street company and one of the laboratories accused of being responsible for over-consumption of opiate drugs in the United States, OxyContin. A spokesman for the Sackler Fund said on Tuesday that the blocking of the donation, was justified because "the spreading of allegations against Sackler family members" could "distract the National Portrait Gallery from its important work," while he was rejecting "vigorously " the charges against the family.

David Ross, the museum's director, said "I understand and support the decision not to concretize the donation at this time," in a statement. American photographer "Nan Goldin" rejoiced in the Guardian the decision of the museum. She herself became dependent on OxyContin and is a militant against its prescription. Nan Goldin wishes "a domino effect" in the world of art and culture. According to the Guardian , the artist had threatened to refuse a retrospective of her work to the NPG if the museum accepted the gift.

The name Sackler adorns many museums in the United States, in London, where the Victoria & Albert Museum owns a Sackler court, or in Paris, with the Sackler wing of Oriental antiquities in the Louvre. The opiate crisis ravaging the United States was decreed in late October public health emergency by President Donald Trump. Some 2.4 million Americans are currently addicted and 90 of them are dying each day. Purdue Pharma recently announced that it is asking their sales representatives to stop promoting their pain medications to doctors. Some members of the Sackler family still sit on its board of directors.

Published AFP on March 20, 2019.

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