French philanthropist left 50 Russian museum cats money in his will for their care

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In the basement of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, a group of nearly 50 cats having been living there for centuries. Catherine the Great, the founder of the museum, designated the cats as guardians of the art galleries and who have since been the famous felines who keep the rodents away from the more than three million works of art, artifacts and sculptures.

According to the Moscow Times,  the cats are taken care of by volunteers as well as staff members of the museum. The animals are also supported by donations and have a washing machine and veterinary services available according to the museum’s website.

When a French philanthropist recently died, the museum’s director stated the man had really liked the cats and had left “a small sum” in his will to help them. Although it doesn’t seem as if the bequest was of a large amount, the contribution has been very much appreciated.

The money most likely will be used to repair the basement where the cats live.

And it seems other notable people have taken a heartwarming interest in the cats. The former president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Fortov would frequently stop by to bond with the cats and leave donations.

 


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