The Louvre has removed the Sackler family name from its walls, making it the first major museum to disavow the family behind the production of OxyContin. The Sacklers own Purdue Pharma, the company that produces the deadly drug linked with the opioid epidemic in the United States. The family is also known to have donated millions of dollars to museums around the world, including the The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim in New York City. On Wednesday, all mention of the Sacklers was taped over or stripped down from the Paris museum. And the Sackler Wing, named in 1997, no longer displays the plaque acknowledging the family.
The move comes after photographer Nan Goldin, a former opioid addict, led a protest outside the museum’s famous glass pyramid. The Louvre’s president told a French radio station that the Sackler name had been taken down because the museum only allows naming rights for 20 years. However, a spokeswoman for the museum did not respond to questions about why the name hadn’t been taken down two years earlier if that were the case.