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Bolshoi artistic director burnt in acid attack

18 January 2013

The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Theatre Sergei Filin (left) is being treated in a Moscow hospital for severe burns to his face after a masked man threw acid in his face, according to BBC reports. The attack happened late yesterday (Thursday 17 Januaru) as Mr Filin, an award-winning ballet star, was walking home in central Moscow.

Doctors are now fighting to save his eyesight and Interfax news agency says he will be sent to a clinic abroad. A Bolshoi spokesman said Mr Filin, 42, had suffered months of threats. The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says it is suspected that he was the victim of infighting and rows between different groups of dancers at the Bolshoi.

Equity General Secretary Christine Payne spoke for all members when she said: "This is a shocking and disturbing attack on one of the world's leading artists. No artist should be intimidated for doing their job. We are deeply concerned that this attack follows a series of threats made against Mr Filin in recent months."

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