Man’s Body Dangled in Mariinsky as Putin Feted Stars

The body of a man thought murdered dangled from a rope in an attic at the Mariinsky Theater complex in St. Petersburg during a black-tie gala attended by President Vladimir Putin this month.

The body was discovered hanging from a beam in Mariinsky’s main building on 1 Teatralnaya Ploschad on May 21, five months after he went missing, the Investigative Committee in Russia’s second-largest city said on its website.

The man, 22, worked as a roofer at the storied theater until his disappearance Dec. 5, prompting police to open a probe into suspected murder, the committee said. Investigators now believe he committed suicide, according to the statement.

The 230-year-old theater held a three-day celebration this month to mark the opening of $700 million stage connected to the main building that cemented its place among the world’s top cultural institutions.

“It has always been and remains one of the flagships of Russian culture,” Putin told a champagne-drinking, jewel-wearing crowd May 2 amid scenes from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” that were performed by Placido Domingo, Russian-born soprano Anna Netrebko and German bass Rene Pape.

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