Russian police arrest man over acid attack on Bolshoi director Sergei Filin
42-year-old ballet boss was attacked with sulphuric acid by hooded assailant in January
Russian police this morning arrested a suspect in the acid attack that nearly blinded the artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre.
The man was detained before dawn in the small town of Stupino, just outside Moscow, and is thought by police to have thrown the acid at 42-year-old Sergei Filin. The person who ordered the assault, which damaged the reputation of one of the world’s most famous theatres, is still at large.
Mr Filin is currently undergoing treatment in Germany to mitigate the consequences of the attack on 17 January. He was apprehended by a hooded assailant wielding a vial of sulphuric acid outside his Moscow apartment in mid-January. After surgical intervention, Russian doctors were able to salvage Mr Filin’s sight, and he is now receiving further treatment in Germany for his sight and facial burns. He has said he hopes to return to work as soon as possible and is still speaking to his dancers by telephone and Skype.
A police source told the Russian agency Interfax that the person arrested this morning was not a member of the Bolshoi’s troupe, however added that a number of employees and dancers at the theatre were still being investigated by officers. Russian media has played up a dispute between Mr Filin and Nikolai Tsiskaridze, one of the theatre’s leading dancers who has been engaged in a long-running dispute with the Bolshoi management, criticising the theatre publicly and repeatedly and effectively being banned from dancing. He has denied all responsibility for the attack and eventually condemned it, although his first reaction was to say “such things have always happened”; later he suggested that the whole story may have been staged for publicity.
Having questioned the majority of the employees and administrators of the theatre during their investigation into the acid attack, police returned to the Bolshoi this morning to conduct further searches. A raid was also carried out on a Moscow address belonging to relatives of the man arrested, according to the police source.
The incident has caused further embarrassment to the Bolshoi, which in recent years has been in the headlines more for intrigue off the stage than for its ballet and opera productions. A previous leader of the ballet troupe had to resign after pornographic photographs of him were disseminated online, while the theatre’s costly renovation programme has been plagued with allegations of corruption and incompetence.
Ballet performances at the theatre have continued despite the attack on Mr Filin.
Arts & Ents blogs
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakes in bed one night to discover that the yew tree outside his house has ...
It’s hard not to feel sorry for doe-eyed Andy. He spends months pining after Louise, has huge nostr...
Fragility of life looms large over an episode that closes with the scarring on Julie's stomach. Whil...
Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
Theatre review: Daniel Radcliffe gives an admirably honest performance The Cripple of Inishmaan - but his Irish accent isn't quite there
Russell Brand takes his Messiah Complex to the Middle East
Art review: The BP Portrait Award 2013 reveals our endless fascination with self-scrutiny and the human face
Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf