(1) The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the most well-known art museums both in Russia and around the world. (2) But it is not only its exhibits that it is known for. (3) For the longest time in its history the museum has had a productive (PARTNER) ________ with a much loved animal: the cat.
(4) For centuries, cats have guarded this (FAME) ________ museum, ridding it of mice, rats, and other rodents that could damage the art. (5) Peter the Great introduced the first cat to the Hermitage in the early 18th century.
(6) Later Catherine the Great declared the cats to be (OFFICE) ________ guardians of the galleries.
(7)Today, the museum holds a (YEAR) ________ festival honoring these faithful workers.
(8) When a fire broke out in the museum in September 2017, it wasn’t so much the fate of its magnificent art (COLLECT) ________ that worried people.
(9) Luckily, the Hermitage cats survived the fire practically (HARMED) ________!