Bolshoi Theater Reopens After Renovation

Posted October 28th, 2011 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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VIDEO: APExpress 4 – 28.10.2011 13:59:00 – AP-APTN-1630: ++Russia Theatre

Russia's famed Bolshoi Theater in Moscow has reopened after six years of extensive renovation.

President Dmitry Medvedev led the gala opening Friday, which was also attended by international opera stars, celebrities, and Russia's elite.

In his address, Mr. Medvedev called the late 18th century theater, founded by Empress Catherine the Great, a national treasure.

The 1,743-seat theater, which has survived several wars and fires, was restored to its original opulence at the cost of $700 million.

The most challenging part of the reconstruction was reinforcing the building's foundation and walls. The original building was erected above an underground river and was supported by stilts that deteriorated over time. Another challenge was to restore and improve the acoustics.