London’s National Portrait Gallery has agreed to turn down a $1.3 million donation from the Sackler family, the prominent family that owns and controls Purdue Pharma and has been accused of helping to fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic by illegally marketing the painkiller OxyContin.

In a statement, the museum and the family’s charitable organization, the Sackler Trust, described the decision as a joint one.

“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,” a spokesperson for the Sackler Trust said. The spokesperson “vigorously denied” those allegations, but said the trust didn’t want them to become a distraction for the gallery’s work.

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The gallery’s leaders have spent more than a year deciding whether to turn down the donation to support a renovation and new developments, according to the website Artnet News, which first reported the decision.

Museums have faced increasing pressure over their acceptance of money from the Sackler family. Activist and photographer Nan Goldin, who has staged high-profile protests at museums and galleries bearing the Sackler name, has said she would not work with the National Portrait Gallery on a possible project if it took money from the Sackler Trust.

At a protest last month at the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim in New York City, activists handed out fake prescriptions featuring emails from Richard Sackler, Purdue’s former president. The emails were uncovered amid an ongoing lawsuit by the state of Massachusetts against Purdue and some of the Sackler family. That lawsuit alleges that Purdue, the Sackler family, and company executives misled prescribers and patients about the addictive nature of OxyContin as they aimed to boost prescriptions.

“We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible,” Sackler wrote in an email in February 2001. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

Two weeks after the Guggenheim protest, STAT and ProPublica published a secret deposition of Richard Sackler that was part of a court case in Kentucky. That document, part of a cache of sealed court records STAT had fought for almost three years to make public, showed that Sackler had embraced a plan to conceal OxyContin’s strength from doctors in the late 1990s.

In a statement, National Portrait Gallery chair David Ross acknowledged the Sackler family’s support of the arts over the years, but said the organization understands and supports the decision not to move forward with the donation.

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  • The ultimate form of self-protection (not understood by the gullible) : first the Sacklers scored huge tax write-offs for their donations (over the backs of people turned to addicts because of their utterly selfish profiteering), and now “for peace” they stop? Haha ! they are backing off so the very foreseeable legal bills can be covered. Another disgusting attitude problem, squarely on display. Had their Oxycontin pushing not been so disastrous for so many, this would qualify for the biggest joke of the day.

  • This gives the appearance they are holding the Mercers accountable. The mass media is still parroting the lies and misinformation that Mercers Deposition instructed them to. There are still lying about the potency of Oxycontin, and still stigmatizing people with pain as addicts. The two biggest lies in the long term false narrative are still protecting these propagandists. The Mercers decided that the research should conflate all opioids, even though people are dying from them. There is a reason the media and our researchers make no distinction between Heroin, Oxycontin, non patented opiates and Fentanyl. The Mercers through a propaganda campaign, that other profiteers, saw potential profits from, created the false narrative that is still in use. 22 years after the deregulation of health advertising, the same lies and false narratives are still propagated and amplified across the media, and influencing the research on this topic.

  • I AM ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED TO BE INFORMED ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND THE DECISION MADE AS SUCH , IN REALITY AND TRUTH . HUMAN BEINGS AT A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE WITHIN THIS CORRUPT .EVIL AND DANGEROUS PATHS OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM OR INDUSTRY SPECIFICALLY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , WITH THE SPENDING FOR INSTANCE OF THE YEAR 2018 TOTAL COST ,FOR WHICH THIS SUM AS NOT YET BEING RELEASE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY . YET STILL I AM MAKING THE INTERPRETATION THAT THE FINAL SUM WILL BE FOUR POINT TWO TRILLION , DOLLARS [4.2 $] DOLLARS BASED ON THE TOTAL FOR THE YEAR OF 2017 . WHEN IT WAS STATED THAT THE COST WAS THREE POINT FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS [3.5$] DOLLARS . WITH ALL OF THIS FUNDS WE STILL HAVE THE WORST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM GLOBALLY FOR ANY ONE GOING TO A DOCTOR . HOSPITAL AND OR TAKING MEDICATION , THE RISK OF BECOME WORSE OR DYING ARE ABOUT SIXTY PERCENT AS SUCH YES . THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS A DEATH CELL IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , PAIN KILLERS AND THE BRIBE DOCTORS ARE ONLY TWO [2] O F THE SINS AND EVILS HERE , ONLY IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL OF MONDAY , MARCH ,18. 2019 ON PAGE A 17 , THERE IS THE ARTICLE TITLED AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION , IS BETTER THAN CURE , THE ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY CHRIS POPE , AND THE BOOK IS AUTHORED BY ROBERT .M KAPLAN ,[HARVARD ] 225 PAGES . $25.99 YES THIS IS A POWERFUL EXAMPLE AS TO HOW WE MUST PROCEED FROM HERE ON . MORE TO COME ,TREVOR MERCHANT TODAY TUESDAY , MARCH , 19 ,2019 AT 5. 14 P. M . DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ,NEW YORK CITY . EMAIL ADDRESS ,MERCHANTTREVORLEGAL@GMAIL.COM

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