National Portrait Gallery Turns Down £1m Sackler OxyContin Donation




The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is the first high profile institution to turn down a £1m grant from the Sackler Trust, over the controversy connected to the growing global OxyContin, drug crisis. This was a mutual decision between the trust and the NPG.

We have decided not to proceed at this time with the donation from The Sackler Trust – NPG

Other past Sackler Trust or the Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation donations to UK institutions have included Tate, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Serpentine Galleries, Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts, Design Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Courtauld Institute of Art and Royal College of Art.

The gallery announced, “The Sackler Trust and the National Portrait Gallery have jointly agreed not to proceed at this time with a £1m gift from the Sackler Trust related to the “Inspiring People project”.

In 2016 the grant was earmarked for the £35.5m building development project. This included a new education centre and a rehang of the collection.

The Sackler Trust issued a statement, saying that they were pleased to have offered support to the NPG. It goes on to add that “the giving philosophy of the family has always been to actively support institutions while never getting in the way of their mission”. The statement says that “recent reporting of allegations made against Sackler family members may cause this new donation to deflect the National Portrait Gallery from its important work”.

“The allegations against family members are vigorously denied, but to avoid being a distraction for the NPG, we have decided not to proceed at this time with the donation. We continue to believe strongly in the gallery and the wonderful work it does.” The Sackler Trust is, therefore, withdrawing its pledge.

David Ross, the NPG chairman, comments: “I acknowledge the generosity of the Sackler Family and their support of the Arts over the years. We understand and support their decision not to proceed at this time with the donation to the Gallery.” An NPG press spokeswoman adds that “we fully respect and support the Sackler family’s decision.”

OxyContin is one of the most addictive painkillers in the history of pharmacology. They advertised and distributed their medication knowing all the dangers. The Sackler family and their private company, Purdue Pharma, built their empire with the lives of hundreds of thousands. The bodies are piling up. In 2015, in the US alone, more than thirty-three thousand people died from opioid overdoses, half of them from prescription opioids; 80 percent of those who use heroin or buy fentanyl on the black market began with an opioid prescription. These statistics are growing exponentially.”

In 2018 the crisis was highlighted by the photographer Nan Goldin who wrote an essay in Art Forum stating ” The Sacklers made their fortune promoting addiction. OxyContin is one of the most addictive painkillers in the history of pharmacology. They advertised and distributed their medication knowing all the dangers. The Sackler family and their private company, Purdue Pharma, built their empire with the lives of hundreds of thousands. The bodies are piling up. In 2015, in the US alone, more than thirty-three thousand people died from opioid overdoses, half of them from prescription opioids; 80 percent of those who use heroin or buy fentanyl on the black market began with an opioid prescription. These statistics are growing exponentially.”

“I’ve started a group, P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), to hold them accountable. To get their ear, we will target their philanthropy. They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world. We demand that the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education. There is no time to waste.”

Read More

Visit


Related Posts

Artlyst Benefit screen prints by Simon Patterson. Exclusive Editions
Open Source Salon with Hauser and Wirth - A new monthly discussion group
Advertise your next show on Artlyst from £200 per week