The Louvre museum in Paris has removed the name of the Sackler family from one of its wings, amid a controversy that has seen the billionaire donors accused of pushing a highly-addictive opioid blamed for tens of thousands of deaths.
An AFP reporter on Wednesday saw that masking tape had been put in place to hide the Sackler name on plaques in the rooms of what had been the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities, which houses artefacts from the ancient Near East.
A museum spokesperson could not say when the tape had been put in place. The wing had been given the name due to a $3.6 million donation made by the Sackler family in 1996.
Louvre president Jean-Luc Martinez said on RTL television on Tuesday that the rooms no longer carried the name as such a tribute lasted a maximum of 20 years after the donation.
This would mean that the Sackler wing should not have been named after the family for several years. But the Louvre spokesperson declined to comment when asked why the name had not been removed three years ago.
American group PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), backed by American photographer Nancy Goldin, a former opioid addict, had urged the museum to rename the Sackler Wing.
The Louvre was the latest in a string of museums to face criticism over links to the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma, whose painkiller OxyContin is now subject to more than 1,000 lawsuits over its role in the US opioid crisis.
In recent months, galleries including New York’s Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum, and London’s Tate and National Portrait Gallery, said they would stop accepting donations from the family.
But the Louvre is believed to be the first to actually remove the name, a move welcomed by a PAIN spokesperson while noting that the museum appeared unwilling to publicize it.
In 2017, 47,000 people died in the United States as a result of overdosing on opioids including prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl, the Centers for Disease Control says.
There are hundreds of lawsuits in various US states against both Purdue and its owner the Sackler family, who are accused of pushing for the prescription of OxyContin despite knowing how addictive it is.
But worries about the medication are not confined to the US.
Last month, around 100 French doctors warned about the risk of a health crisis claiming there were “12 million people in France taking opioids” who had not been told about the potential for addiction and risk of overdose.
Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report
On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.
One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.
READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses
On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.
"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."
The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."
Devin Nunes likely under federal investigation over foreign contacts after Parnas phone call revelation: ex-FBI official
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi speculated that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) may already be under FBI investigation for his secret calls with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
"What do you make of the fact that the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, who participated in the Adam Schiff portion of the impeachment hearings, never said anything to anybody about the fact that he was not just the guy who's sitting on the dais, he was involved in some way with one of the players?" asked host Joy Reid.
"Well, it says a lot on two levels," said Figliuzzi. "It says a lot about Devin Nunes as an individual, his ethics, his integrity, and what he's all about. And then on a larger level, it's just a huge, ironic development that we're hearing all of this about — the Republicans are defending allegations that the president lacks integrity and ethics, and they're sitting there overseeing this and they're not recusing themselves, and they're not saying anything about their colleague, Devin Nunes. So, you know, the hypocrisy is loud and clear here. And eventually when the dust clears, Joy, I wouldn't be surprised if ethics investigations and perhaps even criminal investigations really point the finger at Nunes as someone who should have recused himself and is much deeper into this than we know now."