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The Louvre clears the name of the Sackler, patrons controversial in the art world

Their patronymic controversial, present in several rooms of the museum, lent itself to controversy: the Louvre has recently hidden the name of the family Sackler, wealthy american patrons that the pharmaceutical industry is accused of being the main responsible of the crisis of opiates in the United States. On Wednesday, panels of several rooms devoted to the oriental Antiquities were covered with pieces of tape to hide the reference to “Sackler wing, which is still engraved on the plates, found an AFP journalist. Contacted, the museum was not able to specify when the cache had been placed.

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This section of the Louvre sported the name of the american family from a gift of her share in 1996. At the beginning of July, the american association BREAD (Bread Addiction Intervention Now) had organized a demonstration in front of the museum for him to claim to change their fields of activities of this wing. Led by the photographer Nan Goldin, a former addict to painkillers, the organization advocates to encourage cultural institutions to move away from the family Sackler, in view of its role in the crisis of the opioid responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.

the president of The Louvre Jean-Luc Martinez had responded Tuesday on RTL, explaining that the museum is “not to change their fields of activities of these rooms, since they no longer carry the name of Sackler”: the internal rules of the institution provide that the “naming” of a room takes “20 years” maximum, he explained. Under-heard: the name “Sackler” would no longer be associated with the Louvre since 2016. The museum would have forgotten to delete the references to “Sackler wing” on its panels for the past three years? When asked about it, the Louvre has refused any other comment.

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“The Louvre is the first to change their fields of activities. It’s going to be an example followed by other museums”

A representative of the association of Bread

“It is a satisfaction, even if it is a little half-hearted, given the way the Louvre is,” responded a spokesperson of BREAD, in welcoming the decision distance. The association’s policy is to congratulate the institutions who take decisions of this kind, it would be fair that it be done officially”, he added. In recent months, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum or the Guggenheim in New York have renounced donations from Sackler in the face of this controversy. But the Louvre “is the first to change their fields of activities. It’s going to be an example followed by other museums”, he hoped.

Very influential among the high society of new york, the Sackler have built their reputation thanks to the sponsorship, and built their fortune on OxyContin, a powerful pain-killer is accused of being at the origin of the crisis the opiate, according to the u.s. health authorities, has made the 47,000 deaths by overdose in the United States in 2017. Their laboratory, Purdue Pharma, is accused of having pushed the medical surprescrire its flagship product, while it knew its effects addictive, who have contributed to the growing reliance of Americans to opiates and pushed consumers to harder drugs such as fentanyl and heroin.

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