The President toured the St Nicholas the Wonderworker chapel, living rooms, and a recital room. Mr Putin also viewed the sitting room dedicated to outstanding Alexandrinsky Theatre’s prima Maria Savina, who is associated with the founding of the Theatre Veterans’ Home. There is a monument to the actress in the building’s inner courtyard. The Theatre Veterans’ Home was established in 1902 and today can house 94 people.
Beginning of discussion with theatre veterans and community figures
Vladimir Putin: Hello,
Before announcing that work to restore and renovate the Theatre Veterans’ Home is complete, I wanted to see myself what has been done here over an almost two-year period. By the way, in its time it was also built over the course of two years: from 1900 to 1902. Now renovations also took about two years. Those who were here before then can probably compare the state it was in two years ago and its current one.
Important work really has been carried out, but I nevertheless wanted to see it for myself, even though I know how our builders work today, with new technologies and new quality. And I would also like to show it to you, so that you can see it with your own eyes. And if there are any comments then they should be made now, before the furniture is delivered and everything is in its place. Because after that it will become more difficult to make changes.
Remark: Yes, and unnecessary.
Vladimir Putin: They say that it will be unnecessary. I simply wanted to make sure that this really is the final stage and, as was just said, no additional changes will be required.
I would like to listen to what you have to say. I hope that you have had time to take a look, if only a quick one, and see what has been done here. Please go ahead: what are your impressions, your thoughts?
Let’s hear Alexander Alexandrovich [Kalyagin] first, because he is one of the initiators of the reconstruction process. As you know, after all the changes in Russia associated with property and the status of non-governmental organisations, naturally it was very difficult or almost impossible for the Union of Theatre Workers to keep this building in decent condition. Therefore, we agreed together with Mr Kalyagin to take certain measures relating to property; thanks to funds from the federal budget we were able to undertake these renovations, and over two years they have resulted in what you now see.