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MOSCOW, November 3 (Itar-Tass) - Damage from the fire at Moscow’s School of Modern Drama Theatre will be finally estimated by November 5, first deputy head of the city’s department of culture Yekaterina Pronicheva told journalists on Sunday, after visiting the site.
“The damage will by finally established after a department meeting on Tuesday,” she said, adding that the meeting would involve specialists from the city architectural heritage agency, representatives from the theatre and experts from the urban utilities services. She also promised all possible assistance to the theatre.
She also said that all people who had bought tickets to the theatre’s performances would be eligible for compensation. In the near future, all the performances will be cancelled, since the building is “in a miserable condition,” she noted. However she did not say whether any compensation would be paid to the theatre’s company for the dead time.
As long as the School of Modern Drama has no building of its own, it would perform at other venues. “Such venues have not yet been chosen but there are a lot of offers,” Pronicheva said.
She said so far there were no official theory of what might had caused the fire.
The School of Modern Drama Theatre is housed in a 19th century building in Moscow’s Neglinnaya Street, just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. The fire started twenty minutes before the show, at about 11:40 Moscow time. It was put out at 14:12 Moscow time. A total of 350 people were evacuated from the theatre. About 150 square meters of the floor at the second storey partially collapsed. The fire area was 500 square meters. According to preliminary theiry, the fire was caused by a short circuit in electric wiring.
The building used to house the legendary Hermitage restaurant opened by acclaimed French chef Lucien Olivier and Russian merchant Yakov Pegov in 1864.
The School of Modern Drama Theatre marks its 25th anniversary in 2013. It has organized a big jubilee programme, featuring nine new productions, festivals and evenings with its actors.