Sackler money complicates donation policies for museums

By Hillel Italie, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 17, 2019 at 11:12 p.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — The allegations surrounding wealthy donors such as the Sackler family have raised questions for the museums they supported, including whether to keep the family's name on prominent galleries.

The billionaire family is notorious for its ties to the drug company Purdue Pharma, which developed OxyContin, a painkiller that has been at the center of the opioid crisis.

For museums in the United States, private funding can account for more than three quarters of an annual budget. That means the decision to cut off a wealthy contributor such as the Sacklers or Jeffrey Epstein is sometimes a choice between upholding their stated values and being able to communicate those values through art.

Some institutions are keeping the name, citing legal reasons and other concerns.

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Hillel Italie

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