You to me, I to you
Konstantin Bogomolov announced the need for urgent repair of the historic building at the end of May this year, as soon as he received the post of artistic director of the Malaya Bronnaya Theater.
The appointment of a former opposition director, who suddenly became eager to call for Sergei Sobyanin in last year’s mayor’s election in Moscow, was seen by many as payment for loyalty. If so, then the money following the post followed, one might say, immediately.
On October 17, on the official website of the unified information system in the field of public procurement, a tender was published for the "Repair and Restoration Work" facility at ul. Malaya Bronnaya, d. 4, p. 2. The initial price of the contract is 518,708,530 rubles. The artist will be selected in November.
As follows from the terms of reference, major repairs will affect every corner of the theater - from the basement to the attic. In particular, the restoration awaits the auditorium, foyer and buffet. The old floor covering will be removed and recreated figured parquet from precious woods. The main chandelier will be removed and restored in the workshop. It will be like a new and grand staircase: its repair includes the restoration of steps, stucco walls, a wooden handrail, cleaning and restoration of the fence. In the area of the 1st floor of the main staircase and in the intermediate areas from the preserved photographs, historical metlakh tiles will be recreated.
Builders are given one and a half years for all work. The draft contract implies that the actors of the Theater on Malaya Bronnaya will vacate the premises on January 15, 2020, and will return after the repair is completed - after July 15, 2021. All this time, the Bogomolov troupe will rehearse and play performances in the Palace on the Yauza. Earlier it was inhabited by Sovremennik - while a large-scale reconstruction of the building on Chistoprudny Boulevard was ongoing.
The theater will survive the Renaissance
By the way, the general contractor for the repair of Sovremennik and the developer of the project documentation for the restoration of the Malaya Bronnaya Theater is the same company - Renaissance Restoration JSC.
This company, registered in St. Petersburg, is one of the largest players in the Russian restoration market. And it lives happily at the expense of state contracts: in 2017, the revenue of restorers amounted to 2.6 billion. Created in 2005, it began to actively win tenders for the restoration of historical objects only in 2015, when the BaltStroy company left the market (its top managers and officials of the Ministry of Culture were involved in the criminal case of embezzlement of budget funds allocated for the restoration of cultural heritage objects. This case is known as the “Case of Restorers.” - Auth.).
However, the activity of the Renaissance Restoration is also accompanied by scandals: the Russian Museum, due to protests by employees and city defenders who fear for the preservation of the monument, will decide to suspend the reconstruction of the well-yard of the Mikhailovsky Palace (the price of the issue is 1.12 billion rubles). That St. Petersburg antitrust police, suspecting violations in the evaluation of applications of participants, will cancel the results of the company’s competition for the restoration of the Palace Stables in Peterhof (409.7 million rubles).
Nevertheless, today the Renaissance Restoration practically does not know defeats when applying for state contracts: the company is currently performing restoration work for the Russian Museum (over 300 million rubles), Peterhof (over 235 million rubles), the Moscow Estrada Theater under the direction of Gennady Khazanova (almost 33 million rubles). The total value of contracts concluded with state institutions in 2015–2018 is more than 8 billion.
This spring, a new scandal erupted around the work of the Renaissance Restoration: specialists were outraged by the clumsy appearance of the Stone Flower, one of the historical fountains of VDNKh, which almost ... 3 billion were spent on updating! Then the restorers claimed: soon the fountain will fade and will look less defiantly bright. We are still waiting.