The old building of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater will reopen after a lengthy reconstruction on October 17, First Deputy Moscow Mayor Vladimir Resin said in an interview with the Rossiskaya Gazeta government daily published on Friday.
“The Bolshoi Theater is a symbol, not just for Moscow, but for the whole of Russia,” Resin said. “Therefore, for the builders, of whom there are currently 3200, it is a matter of honor to keep their word and finish construction on time and without any setbacks.”
The Moscow authorities began reconstructing the nearly 200 year-old theater in 2005. Initially due for completion in 2008, the project has been marred with repeated schedule delays and a misspending scandal.
Russian prosecutors opened a probe in 2009 into the suspected embezzlement of millions of dollars during the renovation.
Since early 2010, the theater has been running performances in the Choral, Round and Beethoven halls, where reconstruction work has already been completed. Reconstruction work on the main foyer, the façade and the square in front of the theater is also complete.
By October, the theater should have a new back stage, extra foyers and cafeterias, and underground premises that will also accommodate spacious storage for stage decorations. The reconstruction work is expected to provide extra space of 50,000 square meters.