The opening of theatre reconstruction at Andriyivskyy Descent: Public opening of theater causes controversy

11:29 Nov. 29, 2016

Public opening of theater causes controversy

Crowd gathers at the opening of new facade of the theater at Podil (UA Today/Emil Durov)

Protesters and supporters of a controversial architectural project gather at Andriyivskyy Descent as new theatre facade unveiled in Kyiv

Under heavy snow, protestors and supporters of the new construction stood at the opening ceremony of a facade of a theatre at Podil. The crowd, which was against the construction, shouted "Shame!" when the facade was being revealed to the gathered audience.

The ceremony was attended by the theatre's director, Oleg Drozdov. A renowned Ukrainian theatre director, Vitalyi Malakhov, and Ukrainian politician of the party 'Svoboda', Ihor Miroshnychenko, were also present. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitalyi Klitschko didn't show up at the opening event. 

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Ukrainian theatre director, Vitalyi Malakhov, confessed that he wasn't impressed by the exterior look of the building, though he revealed that the building from inside looks like a European one. The theatre can also be easily accessed by disabled theatergoers.

Ukrainian politician, Ihor Miroshnychenko, was one of the supporters of the outraged crowd and said that the building 'destroys unique vestage of Andriyivskyy Descent'.

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The reconstruction produced controversy on social media on Monday; the number of posts displaying indignation prevailed. Numerous people referred to the reconstructed building as a crematorium. The building was also labelled a coffin, monster-theatre, a garage, a vault. However, some Facebook users approved the image of the new facade and said that Ukrainian society is not art savvy enough to admire it.

For more than 10 years, the idea of building of a theatre at Podil was abandoned, as there was no financing. But at the beginning of 2016, the corporation, "Roshen", invested almost 166 mln hryvnias [some USD 6,5 mln] in the project. 

Andriyivskyy Descent is a crucial tourist attraction of the city and a historic descent, which connects Kyiv's Upper Town neighbourhood and Podil.

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