The Metropolitan Museum of Art
is reassessing its policies around accepting gifts amid the ongoing controversy surrounding its longtime benefactors, the Sackler family, and some of that family’s members’ roles in the opioid crisis.
Last week, widows and descendants of two of the three Sackler brothers—Raymond and Mortimer—were added to a $500 million lawsuit filed by the City of New York in order to offset the costs of the opioid crisis. Raymond, Mortimer, and their brother Arthur Sackler bought and built up the drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma; after Arthur died in 1987, his brothers bought his shares in the company, long before it began selling OxyContin in 1995. In addition the lawsuit in New York, members of the Sackler family were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the state of Massachusetts in June 2018.
In a statement quoted by The Art Newspaper
, Daniel Weiss, the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, said: