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Amy Reusch

Bolshoi sarcophagi?

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I notice that it says "building sarcophagi", not "RE-building". Perhaps a warning to future directors?

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Hey, what about all those "Dying Swans?"

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On a grimmer note: Spartacus and the slaves?

More realistically, could this just be a ghastly mis-translation of something that makes perfect sense in Russian? Russian-speakers, please HELP.

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I wonder if it's a mistranslation of something like "vault", as in "archival vault"?

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Looking at the Bolshoi's website, it sounds to me as though they're reconstructing the orchestra pit and substage, which over the years have been braced with concrete, and replacing the artificial stone with wood, thereby creating a "sounding board" effect. Maybe that's what's meant here.

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Hello to everybody.

The word “sarcophagi” was never used in Russian articles about Bolshoi reconstruction. So I suggested this question to members of a Russian ballet forum. The only answer was given and almost immediately. After Chernobyl the word “sarcophagi” was used for the building which was constructed to surround the dangerous reactor. Bolshoi as is planned will be surrounded by an underground wall of concrete to protect the theater from underground waters (there is a river flow in this site). Probably, a person who translated the article, used ‘”sarcophagi” in this sense. On the other hand if this interpretation is correct, he/she had to use "sarcophagus", not the plurial.

Another answer was given also to support your jokes: Bolshoi’s sarcophagi is the place where the Pharaoh’s Daughters will live as now their lodging is in an awful state - please have a look at the photo.

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Ah, that would explain a lot. The World Trade Center site(also known as "ground zero" after 9/11/2001) is also surrounded by such a structure, and for the same reason - there is a river nearby. The local nickname for this underground barrier is "the bathtub".

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An architect friend suggested "cofferdam". (The term does contains "coffer," or box).

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The engineering explanation is quite sensible, if not as fanciful as the other ideas.

(considering that it's almost August, I'm in the mood for silly)

And do look at the photo from Mikhail's link -- it's just lovely

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I suspect that what they are constructing is a diaphragm wall (which is what they did after Chernobyl). This would allow the basement to be kept dry and it's a fairly standard technique for that kind of situation. Cofferdams work on the same principle, but they tend to be used only as temporary structures and actually in waterways ( for building structures such as bridge piers) where they allow construction in the (relative) dry.

However, all that concrete could supply cover for all kinds of things - though I'm told that bodies encased in concrete can eventually cause voids which weaken the structure ....................... I don't think we should go there. You really don't want to know any more!

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