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Report: Guggenheim Museum Says It Will Decline Sackler Funding

Inside the Guggenheim.

KARLHEINZ IRLMEIER/IMAGEBROKER/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK.

On Friday, after a week that saw both Tate and the National Portrait Gallery in London say they will decline philanthropic funding from the Sackler family, the Guggenheim Museum in New York said it would follow suit, according to Hyperallergic.

Members of the Sackler family have been accused of helping fuel the opioid crisis as the owners of Purdue Pharma, which allegedly withheld information about the addictiveness of its painkiller OxyContin, as well as their tactics in marketing pharmaceuticals. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that more than 1,600 suits have been filed against Purdue and its owners. Purdue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, photographer Nan Goldin and her activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) staged a die-in at the Guggenheim Museum, which is home to a Sackler Center for Arts Education, to draw attention to allegations against Purdue and Sackler family members. Goldin and P.A.I.N. have called on numerous museums to cut ties with the Sacklers, who have been major donors to cultural institutions.

The Guggenheim told Hyperallergic that it had received $7 million from the family of Mortimer D. Sackler (one of the co-owners of Purdue, who died in 2010) between 1995 and 2006 to support the center, and an additional $2 million in support leading up to 2015. “No additional gifts are planned, and the Guggenheim does not plan to accept any gifts,” the Guggenheim said.

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