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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Mice at the Museum: Meet the Hermitage Museum’s 65 Feline Guards, Now With Video!

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Back in May we learned about the State Hermitage Museum’s unusual pest control strategy: every night the St. Petersburg institution lets some 65 cats roam the institution’s halls in search of prey. The story was sorely lacking video of the feline guards, however, an unfortunate situation remedied by the our colleagues to the north at the CBC last week, who’ve filed the adorable video report below.

Though the short item fails to mention the annual Day of the Hermitage Cat celebration on Lenin’s birthday, it does note that a team of three nearly-full-time employees look after the cats, that the feline patrol program is funded largely by employee contributions (scandal!), and that the Hermitage now welcomes stray cats to join its team.

“They’re not just mascots,” says staff cat wrangler Irina Popovets, “they’re really employees of the Hermitage and they play a very important role.” Any St. Petersburg strays reading this should head directly for the Hermitage. Everyone else should watch the video below (and then submit it to the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Film Festival).

[CBC via ArtFagCity]

— Benjamin Sutton

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  1. Awsome use of strays. I wish all cities in the world would do this. I remember seeing this in History channel show Museum Secrets.

  2. by dianne holle

    What a great video! When I lived in an apartmenat I had all kinds of cats come to my door. I fed them, took them in & placed them with a no-kill sheter. I now have one cat of my own, a tortishell. She (Sammie) is the love of my life, she is sooooo sweet. Thanks for all you do for cats around the world. God bless!! Dianne Holle xxoo

  3. What a great video! Hope you enjoy the “working cats”!


  4. by Byron Winchell

    Call in the USDA zoo inspectors just like at the Hemmingway Museum in Key West!

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