MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – The Bolshoi Ballet’s Artistic Director Sergei Filin suffered severe burns to his face in an acid attack by an unknown assailant in Moscow, a theater spokesperson said on Friday.
The attack occurred at around midnight on Thursday, as Filin was approaching his home. A masked assailant threw concentrated acid into his face and fled the scene.
Filin received third-degree burns to his face and eyes, and is being treated at a burns center at a hospital in Moscow where doctors are fighting to save his sight. It could take at least six months for him to recover, Bolshoi Theatre spokesperson Yekaterina Novikova said.
Filin, 43, was appointed to the post of the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director in March 2011 amid fierce rivalry for the position.
The attack came after months of intimidation, during which his car tires were slashed and he received threatening phone calls. Shortly before the attack, his Facebook page suffered a hack attempt.
“We don’t know who would benefit from this. The police should investigate,” Novikova said.
The Bolshoi Theatre reopened in October 2011 after extensive reconstruction which started in 2005.