January 18, 2013- Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet director suffered severe burns on his face when someone threw acid at him. The local media as well as police said on Friday that the attack on the head of the prestigious group was part of a campaign of intimidation.
Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the troupe was attacked while outside his apartment complex on Thursday night, said his colleagues and police. A Russian news agency said a medical source had described the director’s condition as being stable, at a local hospital.
Sources close to the situation said that doctors were attempting to save Filin’s eyesight. The theater is located in the center of Moscow and is an enduring symbol Russia’s culture and a huge draw for locals and foreigners alike. However, power struggles have taken place among directors and dancers over its 200-year history.
Anatoly Iskanov, the head of the troupe said he is certain the goal of the attack was to sow discord at the theater and that the ones behind the attack are those who would benefit from the theater leadership being compromised.
Iksanov said that Filin, who is 42, told him other incidents had taken place this month such as someone slashing his tires and hacking his email. Natalya, Filin’s mother, said he was threatened, but she was not aware of who was behind the acid attack. She said the important thing was her son’s health and that he does not lose his eyesight.
Police in Moscow said an attacker, who was still not identified, splashed acid in the face of Filin.
One radio station in Moscow reported that Filin had suffered third degree burns. Doctors told sources that it could take up to six months for Filin to fully recover. Filin is a native of Moscow, joined the troupe back in 1988 and became the artistic leader of the ballet in March of 2011, following three years in another theater in Moscow doing the same thing.