August 1, 2013 / 7:31 PM / 6 years ago

Russian Bolshoi acid attack victim may return to work next month

Anatoly Iksanov, General Director of Russia's Bolshoi Theatre, takes part in a news conference in Moscow in this March 19, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet who nearly lost his sight when a masked attacker threw acid in his face six months ago, said on Thursday he hoped to be back at work next month.

The attack on January 17 shocked Russians and revealed the bitter turf wars being fought within the walls of the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow.

“The talk now is that I could be back at work by mid-September and could open the season at the Bolshoi Theatre,” Filin, wearing a red baseball cap and dark sunglasses, told the Russian state broadcaster Rossiya 1.

Speaking outside the clinic in Germany’s Aachen where he is receiving treatment, and with scars still clearly visible in the lower right part of his face, Filin said everything depended on how his left eye recovered.

Filin was attacked outside his home after returning late at night from the theatre, and then left writhing in agony in the snow before he eventually managed to get help.

Pavel Dmitrichenko, one of the Bolshoi’s top dancers who found fame playing villains in Swan Lake and Ivan the Terrible, later confessed to hiring two accomplices to attack Filin, but said he had not expected acid to be thrown in his face.

All three face prison terms of up to 12 years if convicted.

Last month, Russia dismissed the long-serving head of the Bolshoi, Anatoly Iksanov, and entrusted Vladimir Urin with rebuilding the theatre’s reputation following the scandal.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Mike Collett-White

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