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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Army of Cats Protect Russian Museum

An Army of Cats
Protect One of The Largest Museums in The World
Around 70 kitties live in the cellars of the Hermitage.
Cats Take Up Residence
At the Hermitage Museum
Why do house-cats roam the halls of the Hermitage? And why did they disappear during World War Two? Since the era of Catherine the Great, the Hermitage has been home to hundreds of house cats. They earn their keep by keeping the museum vermin free. Today, the cats are fed and cared for by dedicated volunteers. But there was one brief period in Hermitage history when cats were nowhere to be found. This was during the Second World War when St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, was under siege by the Nazis. The Hermitage was under siege too -- marked for destruction by Adolf Hitler. As the staff of the Hermitage crafted a plan to save the museum's masterpieces, the housecats disappeared one by one.
These cats ‘work’ in Russia’s biggest museum keeping the exhibits safe from rodents.

Around 70 kitties live in the cellars of the Hermitage.
They’re ‘paid’ with food and care. The first cats were brought from Tatarstan in the 18th century by order of Elisabeth of Russia (SOURCE: The New Yorker). 

The cats have three caretakers, as well as their own press secretary. And on Hermitage Cat Day visitors can thank them for “guarding” the museum.

Cats Fight Rats at Russian Museum
One of the largest art galleries in the world is relying on feline power to keep it rodent-free.
For more than 200 years, cats have had a full-time job at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Today, a new generation of about 60 felines live in the building, the proud descendants of a long line of Aristo-cats.

Hermitage Magazine
Honors Museum's Cats
With Formal Russian Portraits
Hermitage Magazine is honoring the cats that have patrolled the Hermitage Museum since the days of Catherine the Great, commissioning an artist to create six portraits of cats in the style of 18th and 19th century Imperial Palace Servants. Jen Markham has the story.

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Meow! Secret Hermitage Helpers
(RT Documentary)
Russia's State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is home to countless pieces of art from around the world. 
RT goes behind the scenes of the former imperial palace on the Neva River to meet volunteers of all kinds...including cats.

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