The Sacklers also saw their money expelled from hedge fund Hildene Capital Management this month, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a statement to the Journal, hedge fund manager Brett Jefferson said: “the weight on my conscience led me to terminate the relationship.”
Campaigners are also calling on institutions to strip the family’s name from their buildings. Earlier this year, photographer Nan Goldin’s campaign group Sackler PAIN led a protest against Sackler funding at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
The Guggenheim — which received $9 million in gifts from the Sacklers between 1995 and 2015 — confirmed to CNBC on Friday last week it would no longer accept Sackler donations. Elsewhere, Daniel Weiss, president and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, told CNBC via email that the Met was conducting a review of its gift acceptance policies and had not received a gift from the Sacklers for two years.
Despite the shift away from Sackler funding, institutions are yet to make moves to remove the family’s name from their walls — and they may be unable to. Harvard University’s Arthur M. Sackler Museum and the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler gallery were both funded by donations made in the 1980s, decades before OxyContin was invented.
“Given these circumstances and legal and contractual considerations, Harvard does not have plans to remove Dr Sackler’s name from the museum,” a Harvard spokesperson said via email.
Similarly, a spokesperson for The Smithsonian told CNBC the museum had a legally binding contract which meant its Arthur M. Sackler gallery would keep its name “in perpetuity.”
“(Our) new policy limits the naming of a space to a term of 20 years or until (its) next major renovation,” they said.
Speaking to CNBC on the phone last week, author L.A. Kauffman — a member of Sackler PAIN — said the group would continue its “fight for accountability.”
“Museums (are) white washing the reputation of a family that is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people … But the tide is turning against them,” she said.