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Hermitage cats left ‘small sum’ in French philanthropist’s will

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It’s not unusual for folks to go away bequests of their wills to artwork galleries or museums, to see one thing they liked proceed after they die.

It’s additionally not unusual for folks to go away cash or provisions for pets and animals.

Nevertheless it’s not each day you see a rich philanthropist depart a tidy sum of cash to a bunch of cats that reside within the basement of a museum.

Or possibly it’s, when you reside in Russia.

About 50 cats reside within the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

They’re not new – they’ve been there for the reason that mid-1700s.

(They’re most likely not the identical cats from 250-odd years in the past, however the museum basement has been occupied by cats for fairly some time.)

The Hermitage’s founder, Catherine the Nice, truly named the cats the guardians of artwork galleries – their best activity is to guard the artefacts and artwork from rodents.

Right this moment, they’re well-known.

They actually have a day named after them – the Day of the Hermitage Cat – and are cared for by a bunch of volunteers and museum workers.

Museum common director Mikhail Piotrovsky held a press convention after the bequest was found, saying the funds would go in the direction of repairing the basement.

“Our French pal did an excellent factor; that is good PR for each the cats and charity,” Piotrovsky mentioned.

“The sum will not be very huge nevertheless it’s essential when the particular person writes a will, when the French legal professionals contact (us) and it’s all not a easy (course of) however that is all very fascinating, isn’t it?

“I feel the cats will categorical their will – our colleagues are effectively versed in speaking with them and understanding their language,” he mentioned, indicating precisely what upgrades will happen.



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