Sergei Filin, artistic director for Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, was the victim of an acid attack on Thursday night.
The director was reportedly making his way home when a masked assailant threw acid onto his face, according to authorities. As a result of the assault, Filin is receiving medical treatment for third degree facial burns and doctors are reportedly attempting to save his eyesight.
While the official motive for the acid attack has not been confirmed, Sergei Filin has allegedly been the target of several anonymous intimidation threats during the past several weeks. Such events include the hacking of the director’s Facebook account as well as the slashing of his tires, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Sergei Filin is a former dancer who worked his way through the ranks of the ballet world to become the head of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, the largest company of its kind in the world. Anatoly Iksanov, general director for the theater, has expressed on state television that he feels the attack is linked to Filin’s career:
“He is a man of principle and never compromised. If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable to perform this or that part, he would turn them down.”
The New York Times reports that officials investigating the matter will also consider financial or property disputes to be alternate causes for the assault. However, at this time, the primary focus will be to determine if Sergei Filin was targeted with an acid attack because of reasons related to his career in the ballet world.