Since 1993, Persian and Levantine artifacts at the Louvre have been housed in the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the Sackler name has been taped over, a plaque acknowledging the family’s donations has been removed, and references to the Sackler Wing have been scrubbed from the Louvre’s website.
It’s the latest stage of a backlash that’s been building against the Sacklers in light of revelations about their involvement in the opioid crisis.
The Sackler family made its fortune (estimated by Forbes at $14 billion) through their ownership of Purdue Pharma, inventor and purveyor of the opioid painkiller OxyContin — a drug that has been blamed for the opioid epidemic. Purdue has been criticized for dishonest marketing practices that pushed OxyContin on patients who didn’t need it, or gave them dosage patterns that made the drug more addictive. A May court filing suggested that members of the Sackler family were involved in the dishonest marketing schemes for OxyContin to increase sales.