Paris's Louvre removes Sackler family name from museum wing over opioid ties

The Louvre museum in Paris has removed references acknowledging donations from the Sackler family, the founders of the company that manufacturers OxyContin. 

The New York Times reports the iconic museum removed a plaque acknowledging the Sacklers' donation in a wing that was known as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities for more than two decades.

Other references to the family have been covered with gray tape and online references have been removed, the Times reports. 


The Sackler family founded Purdue Pharma, producer of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, which is facing a number of major lawsuits in the U.S. over its alleged role in the opioid crisis. 

Nadia Refsi, a spokeswoman for the Louvre, told The Hill that the Sackler family has not donated to the museum since 1997. Refsi said the room “no longer bears the Sackler name” due to exceeding a 20-year honorary naming limit the museum’s board of directors put in place in 2003. 

Refsi did not immediately respond as to why the name had been taken down recently, not when it hit the 20-year mark, or as to whether or not the backlash over the Sackler family's connection to the opioid industry played a role in the name removal. 

A guard at the Louvre told the Times the plaque was taken down either July 8 or 9 when the wing was closed to visitors. The guard also told the Times a large sign acknowledging the Sackler donation was removed. 

The decision follows a protest earlier this month where activists, led by artist and former opioid addict Nan Goldin, called for the museum to remove all mentions of the Sackler name. 

Other museums, including the U.K’s Tate museums and New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, have all stopped accepting donations from the Sackler family.

--Updated at 1:43 p.m.