National Portrait Gallery gives up £1m donation from The Sackler Trust
With members of the billionaire Sackler family in the US involved in numerous lawsuits alleging that their marketing tactics got millions of people hooked on opioids, The Sackler Trust and the National Portrait Gallery have jointly agreed not to proceed at this time with a £1,000,000 gift from the Sackler Trust to support the Gallery's Inspiring People project.
At the centre of the controversy is the highly controversial opioid painkiller Oxycontin, produced by Sackler-owned company Purdue Pharma.
Reports suggest that the drug is responsible for around two hundred deaths a day in the United States.
Thousands of court cases are underway, with both the company and Sackler family members facing legal action.
The NPG and The Sackler Trust issued the following statements:
"A spokesperson for the Sackler Trust said: 'The Sackler Trust has supported institutions playing crucial roles in health, education, science and the arts for almost half a century and we were pleased to have the opportunity to offer a new gift to support the National Portrait Gallery.
"'The giving philosophy of the family has always been to actively support institutions while never getting in the way of their mission. It has become evident 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'.
"David Ross, Chair of National Portrait Gallery said: 'As Chair of the National Portrait Gallery, 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'.
"A spokesperson for the National Portrait Gallery said:
'We fully respect and support the Sackler family’s decision.'"
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