Following a similar move by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern in London has removed a plaque bearing the Sackler name, according to the Evening Standard. The museum had previously displayed the Sackler name on an escalator and by a set of elevators.
Members of the Sackler family produced the painkiller OxyContin through the company Purdue Pharma while aware of the addictive properties of the drug and the effects it could have. In legal proceedings over the past few years, the family has denied wrongdoing. In 2021, Purdue Pharma was dissolved, and the Sackler family agreed to pay billions of dollars to settle legal claims.
Prior to the allegations that the Sacklers helped kickstart the opioid crisis through the production of OxyContin, the family had been a philanthropic force, giving millions of dollars to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museum, and many more. P.A.I.N., an activist group initiated by artist Nan Goldin, has been crucial in raising awareness of their ties to institutions, many of which have recently distanced themselves from the family by saying they will no longer accept Sackler donations.
The Met became the first to formally take down the Sackler name in December, when it removed all mention of the family throughout the museum, including in the formerly named Sackler Wing where the Temple of Dendur is housed. The family said at the time that it had agreed to the removal of its name because it was “passing the torch to others who might wish to step forward to support the Museum.” Since then, the Serpentine Galleries in England removed the Sackler name from one of its venues.
Unlike the Met, which made a formal announcement when it removed the Sackler name, Tate Modern has not yet put out a statement about taking it down. ARTnews has reached out to a Tate representative for comment.