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Director of Bolshoi Ballet wounded in acid attack

| Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 9:44 p.m.
Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin (right) suffered third-degree burns and might be left partially blind from an acid attack. AP
Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin suffered third-degree burns and might be left partially blind from an acid attack. AP

MOSCOW — The artistic director of Russia's famed Bolshoi Ballet was attacked by an assailant who threw acid in his face, police and theater officials said on Friday. The assault followed what a colleague said were several weeks of threats and intimidation.

Sergei Filin was about to enter his home in downtown Moscow just before midnight Thursday when a masked stranger called him by his name and then flung the acid, Bolshoi's spokeswoman Yekaterina Novikova said.

Filin, 42, suffered third-degree burns to his face and damage to the corneas of his eyes. He crawled to a parking guard's booth for help and was taken to a Moscow hospital, where ophthalmological surgery was performed on Friday.

Bolshoi general director Anatoly Iksanov said on Friday that he was sure the attack was related to Filin's work with the ballet.

In recent weeks Filin's email box had been hacked, his car tires slashed, and threats were made against him over the phone, Novikova said.

“He was in somebody's way, and somebody is very envious of him,” said his sister, Yelena Filina.

Filina said her brother's eyesight was affected so badly that he could hardly recognize her.

Doctors said Filin may need several plastic surgeries and months of treatment.

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