A French man decided to leave a sum of money in his will to the well being of a couple of dozen cats who inhabit the basements of the Hermitage Museum in Russia.
We all have heard of people benefiting greatly after being left a fortune from a will. The reason behind receiving the money is either because of some familial link or good relation with the benefactor and for the 50 or so cats of the museum, it was most likely the latter.
The museum's general director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, addressed a press conference earlier this month, reported CNN where he made the announcement. The name of the French philanthropist was not taken to keep his identity hidden but it was revealed that the man was quite impressed with the animals and thus decided to leave a small amount for them.
He 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 and it's all not a simple [task] but this is all very interesting, isn't it?”.
Calling it a “nice gesture”, he also said that the funds will be used to repair the basement where the cats stay currently. According to the museum, there are about 50 cats which call the St. Petersburg museum their home. Although now the museum is responsible for hundreds of priceless artifacts, the cats have found shelter at the site since the 1700s under the reign of Empress Elizabeth.
Later, Catherine the Great, who founded the Hermitage Museum, awarded the animals with the status of guardians of the art galleries. Aside from this fancy title, the felines also help the administration in keeping the rodent infestation away. Some volunteers and museum staff take care of the cats and they have access to a veterinarian.
In a similar incident, residents of a community were shocked to have unexpectedly inherited property and stock worth $7.5 million (approximately over Rs 55 crores), after the death of an elderly neighbour in Central Germany.
Renate Wedel was married to Alfred Wedel, and lived in the Weiperfelden district of Waldsolms in Hesse since 1975, as per a statement from Waldsolms district. Described as 'successful' and 'active' on the stock exchange, Alfred, died in 2014, and Renate, who was receiving care in a nursing home in Frankfurt since 2016, died in 2019 aged 81.