Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mariinsky Not Going as Planned

ST. PETERSBURG -- The government has suspended its contract with French architect Dominique Perrault to plan and construct a new building for the Mariinsky Theater over fears that his firm could fail to deliver the project on time.

"At present, we do not consider Perrault a world-famous architect, but just a contractor that does not meet his obligations," head of the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency Mikhail Shvydkoi said, reported Thursday.

The new theater, known as Mariinsky II, is expected to be completed by 2009, but construction of Perrault's controversial design will now be overseen by another company to be decided by tender at a later date.

"It appears that, unfortunately, [Perrault's] firm can win competitions, but they are unable to deliver satisfactory documentation regarding their project," Shvydkoi said.

A representative of the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency confirmed Thursday that the contract was suspended over concerns that Perrault's firm would not be able to complete the planning procedure in time and that mistakes were found in the original submission.

"The criticism is of a serious nature. It concerns the building's stability, its safety and the absence of coordination between different parts of the projects done by various subcontractors," an agency source said Thursday.