Bolshoi Theatre reconstruction completion delayed for a third time
Authorities in Russia have announced yet another delay in the re-opening of the lengendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
The theatre, near Red Square, was closed in 2005 for a $700 million US reconstruction. It was expected to be finished in 2008, then delayed until 2009 and last year, they predicted a completion time of 2011.
Now, that date has been pushed back to 2013, according to the reconstruction's designer Nikita Shangin, who said that it took time to strengthen the building's foundations.
The delay will add another $1.5 billion US to the effort.
"Restoration works suggest a major scientific approach, and so placing them under a deadline is wrong. It was a mistake to give out fixed and unrealistic opening dates," said Kirill Zaitsev of Russia's Cultural Legacy Service.
The Bolshoi's main stage was built between 1821 and 1825 and had visible cracks. There was also a lack of space backstage.
The renovations will create a big underground space for dressing rooms and repair the acoustics which were damaged during the building of the Moscow subway in the 1930s.
Escalators and elevators will also be installed and the main auditorium repaired.
It is the home of the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera. Both companies are currently performing at the New Bolshoi Theatre, adjacent to the original.