On 28 March 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the privilege of "maintaining" theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history. The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day. On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a new stage in preparation for a massive reconstruction and refurbishment. The reconstruction project lasted from 1 July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, in addition, it joined the ranks of the most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world. The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor because of the major contribution it has made to the history of Russian performing arts – a history that is ongoing and continues to evolve as today’s Bolshoi Theatre artists add to its many bright pages.