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- Saturday, January 19, 2013 - From Print Edition


MOSCOW: The head of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet Sergei Filin was Friday fighting to save his eyesight after a masked assailant threw acid on his face, in a gruesome attack the theatre linked to internal conflicts.


Filin, a former acclaimed dancer who was appointed to the post of artistic director in 2011, suffered third degree burns to the face, head and eyes late Thursday when the attacker cornered him near his house in central Moscow.


Bolshoi Theatre general director Anatoly Iksanov said doctors are battling to save Filin’s eyes, and eventually planning to fly him to a military burns hospital in Belgium for more treatment.


Russia’s Deputy Culture Minister Andrei Busygin called the crime an “attack on all Russian culture,” and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wished Filin a fast recovery, his spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said.