The Soviet symbol, which also included a red star and a globe, was removed as the Bolshoi carried out a three-year, $700 million renovation. It will be replaced with the Russian Federation's double-sided eagle.
The renovation also includes new stage machinery, cloakrooms, and escalators. The original acoustics in the main auditorium, which were badly damaged by a renovation in the 1950s, will be restored.
During construction, the Bolshoi's opera and ballet companies are performing in a new, second theater and at other venues. The original theater, which dated from 1825, is scheduled to reopen in 2008.