Europe

Bolshoi boss Sergei Filin leaves hospital for Germany

  • 4 February 2013
  • From the section Europe
Sergei Filin, with wife Maria, speaks to the media as he leaves hospital in Moscow on 4/2/13
Image caption Sergei Filin has already had five operations on his eyes and faces further treatment, but says he believes he will "see my children again"

The Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, badly injured in an acid attack last month, has left hospital in Moscow for further treatment in Germany.

Wearing sunglasses, a hat and a bandage under his neck, Sergei Filin told reporters he would feel "great, if only my eyes could see a bit better".

He will undergo treatment in Germany to try and save his eyesight.

Mr Filin told the BBC on Sunday he is "absolutely certain" he knows who is behind the attack on him.

But he said he would not name names until investigators were ready to make an announcement.

The 42-year-old said he was sure the aim of the attack was to "remove me as the Bolshoi's artistic director for a long period, and to damage the reputation of the Bolshoi Ballet".

He told the BBC's Steve Rosenberg that he knew that some people had disliked the direction he was taking the ballet company, and "the fact I've been successful", but believed he had no "obvious enemies".

'Blurred' vision

Mr Filin was supported by his wife as he left hospital in Moscow for the flight to Germany, where he will check in to a clinic for further treatment.

"I feel well, I'd say even great, if only my eyes could see a bit better. But I can say I feel well," he told reporters, describing his vision as "foggy and blurred".

Mr Filin told the BBC that his right eye has been more damaged than his left, he had undergone five operations and was under constant monitoring.

He spoke of his belief that one day "I will be able to see my children again".

Sulphuric acid was thrown in Mr Filin's face outside his home in Moscow on 17 January.

The incident is widely assumed to have taken to a new level the infighting and rivalries that the Bolshoi theatre has become notorious for - and has shocked people in Russia.

Mr Filin, a talented former dancer himself, took over as artistic director in March 2011.

Tensions over the theatre's artistic programme have been widely reported in Russian media.

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