Sergei Filin may recover sight after acid attack
Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, may recover enough of his sight to work again, doctors treating him at a German hospital have said.
Sergei Filin was the victim of an acid attack in January that damaged his eyes and disfigured his face.
He appeared at a news conference alongside doctors, wearing dark glasses, a scarf and a hat to cover much of his damaged skin.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, a dancer at the Balshoi Ballet, has been arrested over the attack.
He is accused of masterminding the attack, in which a masked man threw sulphuric acid in Sergei Filin’s face.
At Friday’s news conference Dr. Martin Hermel, a surgeon at the Aachen University Clinic where Sergei Filin is being treated, said there was “good hope for regaining usable vision” that may allow him to return to work.
But doctors also warned that “such chemical damage to the eyes demands complex, long-term treatment”, and predicted that Sergei Filin would spend “months rather than weeks” in treatment.
When he went to Germany for treatment in February he told reporters his vision was “foggy”.
At the press conference Sergei Filin demonstrated how doctors were testing his vision by asking him to count fingers held in front of his face.Doctors also warned that scarring caused by the acid would probably be permanent.
“The acid destroyed all layers of the skin of the face,” said Prof. Norbert Pallua, his plastic surgeon.
Sergei Filin said he was “not scared” by the prospect of returning to work at the ballet, despite the allegations that Pavel Dmitrichenko was responsible for the attack.
He did not comment on a letter sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin in defence of Pavel Dmitrichenko, signed by more than 300 members of the ballet company.
Sergei Filin has claimed that he knows who his attacker is, and said some people had disliked the way he was taking the ballet company, which is known for its infighting and rivalries.
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