Bolshoi Ballet director scarred by acid attack leaves hospital


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The Independent Online

The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director left hospital today saying he knew who was behind the acid attack that threatens his sight and the reputation of one of the world’s great theatres.

Sergei Filin, his face scarred and eyes hidden by dark glasses, hinted last month’s attack was linked to his work in the fiercely competitive world of ballet. He said his attacker had looked at him from behind a mask “with fear in his eyes”. “I fell on my face in the snow and began to rub snow in my face and eyes,” he told Rossiya 24 television before his discharge. “I was in terrible, unbearable pain.”

He said he lay in the empty street in front of his apartment building for 20 minutes after the 17 January attack until he caught the attention of a security guard who called an ambulance.

Dressed in black, he spoke only briefly to reporters before stepping into an ambulance, his wife Maria clutching his arm. He was due to fly to a German clinic, widely reported to be in Aachen. Mr Filin said that the attack was the culmination of weeks of threats and was meant to end his career as one of the more influential artists at the Bolshoi Ballet.

Asked if he knew who had ordered the attack, he said: “Every person has an organ called a heart, and my heart knows who did it, and in my soul I have an answer to that question.” Mr Filin said his sight could be better but that he could still see “fuzzy” objects.