Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev promised Sunday at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that construction of the new Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg would be completed this year, Interfax reported Sunday.
"We gave back to the Finance Ministry 2 billion unused rubles ($67.7 million) last year and they just have to return them to us this year and … we will complete construction," Avdeyev said.
Construction of the second stage of the theater has been going on for more than eight years. Since 2006 about 19 billion rubles have been allocated for a new theater building with seven floors above ground and three underground. The project was originally estimated to cost 9.5 billion rubles.