Nan Goldin stages anti-opioid protest at Met

Courtesy Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin has staged a protest at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, in protest at the institution's sponsorship by the family that owns the manufacturer of OxyContin, The New York Times reports.

Demonstrators congregated on Saturday at the Egyptian temple in the Sackler Wing, named after the brothers who donated millions of dollars towards its construction in the 1970s, and threw bottles of pills – labelled 'OxyContin' and 'Brought to you by the Sackler family' – into its shallow moat. Banners were unfurled reading 'Shame on Sackler' and 'Fund Rehab'.

The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical giant which makes OxyContin, a powerful painkiller linked to the opioid crisis in the United States. Goldin, who became addicted to the drug after it was prescribed to her when recovering from an operation in 2014, is the founder of pressure group PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now).

The protestors demanded that Purdue Pharma fund addiction treatment centres and called on cultural institutions to reject further donations from the Sackler family. The action lasted about twenty minutes and ended peacefully, with Goldin leading the group out of the gallery. 

12 March 2018