Pouca gente sabe, mas o museu do Hermitage, em São Petesburgo, conta com uma guarda muito particular: um bando de gatos.
Este texto é de nível básico.
As palavras grifadas têm explicação ao final do texto.
The cats of the Hermitage
There is a very famous museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It's called The Hermitage. It is the second largest museum in the world. Only the Louvre, in Paris, is bigger. It occupies six historical buildings of the city, including the old Winter Palace, where many great emperors and empresses of Russia lived.
The empress Catherine the Great started the collection. She was a big fan of art. She wanted to make a big museum. The Hermitage has many portraits of her. It also has many objects of her original collection.
The museum has a total area of 66,842 square meters. It was founded in 1764 (8 years before the Louvre) by Catherine herself. But it only opened its doors to the public in 1852.
And the museum has very special guards: the Hermitage cats.
Russians are very superstitious. They do many things for good luck, and believe in bad luck, too. And they believe cats can protect against bad things - and, of course, they can hunt mice and rats. Since 1745 they are officially responsible for the museum's pest control.
The cats that live in the museum receive food and have a place to sleep. If they are sick, the museum takes care of them. In exchange, they kill rats and mice, protecting the works of art. And of course, many people go visit them. They have become the museum's special attraction.
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Empress (plural: empresses) (noun)
A female emperor
A painting showing the face of someone
Mice (plural noun)
Plural of "mouse"
Animals that eat our food and cat transmit diseases, and are usually exterminated, such as rats, mice, fleas, etc.