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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bolshoi Building in Need of Repair, but When?

The decrepit state of the Bolshoi Theater building has long been apparent to Moscow's theatergoers. But when exactly the theater will close down for repairs, and for how long, and what the performers will do during the closure is still unclear, despite many reports and rumors.

The theater's director, Vladimir Kokonin, said this week that the theater would remain open for at least two more seasons, and that a decision regarding renovation would be made during that time.

The theater was built in 1825 above an underground river, which is now eroding the foundations of the majestic pink building. The walls are cracked and peeling, and it seems inevitable that the theater will have to close for major renovation, which could cost up to $300 million.

But no one seems to know exactly when the needed renovations will begin. Last week, the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the Bolshoi was to close this year for five years, and that the Bolshoi performers would be performing abroad for two years. Kokonin said that report was "totally unfounded".

The newspaper Izvestia reported Tuesday that the Russian government had issued an order to repair the Bolshoi and relocate performers to the nearby Theater of Operette.

The Moscow city government would act as contractor for the construction repairs. But again, the question of when, for how long, and with what money the repairs would take place remain unanswered.