Mewseum gift: French man leaves portion of will to basement cats

WION Web Team
Paris, France Published: Dec 08, 2020, 03:19 PM(IST)

Cats Photograph:( AFP )

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The cats enjoy separate washing machines, visits from a local veterinarian and more such luxuries through donations made by locals

The year 2020 has been a year a lot of firsts, some being funny and some sad. However, a first by a French philanthropist has left everyone in shock and awe.

A French man has left a portion of his will to his little furry friends who live in the basement of the State Hermitage Museum, which is home to nearly 50 cats who reside in the basement of the building since years.

The museum, St. Petersburg museum, is known to house nearly three million art pieces by masters, sculptures and artefacts. The cats started living in the museum when the building was owned by the Empress Elizabeth.

Main reason behind letting the cats stay in the building was to keep away rodents from the masterpieces. However, slowly the cats made the museum their home and have stayed there in the basement ever since.

These cats are now looked after by volunteers working at the museum and enjoy separate washing machines, visits from a local veterinarian and more such luxuries through donations made by locals.

Now, a French man has left a portion of his will to these cats. The museum's general director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, said, "Our French friend did a very good thing; this is brilliant PR for both the cats and charity. The sum is not very big but it's very important when the person writes a will, when the French lawyers contact (us) and it's all not a simple (process) but this is all very interesting, isn't it?"

Calling it a nice gesture from the French man, he added, "I think the cats will express their will -- our colleagues are well-versed in communicating with them and understanding their language."

He also reported that the Fench man was not the only admirer or the cats. The former president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Fortov, was a "constant friend" of these museum cats.

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