Via The New York Times, December 9, 2021
“In the wake of growing outrage over the role the Sacklers may have played in the opioid crisis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Sackler family jointly announced on Thursday that the Sackler name would be removed from seven exhibition spaces, including the wing that houses the Temple of Dendur.
“Our families have always strongly supported the Met, and we believe this to be in the best interest of the museum and the important mission that it serves,” the descendants of Dr. Mortimer Sackler and Dr. Raymond Sackler said in a statement. “The earliest of these gifts were made almost 50 years ago, and now we are passing the torch to others who might wish to step forward to support the museum.”
The announcement marks a significant break between the world’s largest museum and one of the world’s biggest benefactors, a potent symbol of the upheaval underway at cultural institutions over where their donations come from.
“We are seeing museums transition from gatekeepers of the elite to arbiters of social change,” said Dr. Rebekah Beaulieu, an editor of “The State of Museums: Voices from the Field,” a book published in 2018. “There is an increasing expectation that museums are institutions held in the public trust, and therefore accountable to the general public.””