Bolshoi Theater director recovering well after acid attack [updated]

Bolshoi Theater Artistic Director Sergei Filin attacked with acid by a masked man outside his home on Friday can see but has to stay blindfolded in the post-surgery rehabilitation period, 36th Moscow city hospital chief physician Alexander Mitichkin told Interfax.

"Sergei Filin has had a surgery. Today is the first post-surgery day, and he cannot use his eyes although he can see. He will stay blindfolded for a while," the doctor said.

He noted that the eyesight of Filin would be evaluated only two weeks later.

"Sergei Filin is receiving initial therapy. As a rule, sutures are removed on the sixth or seventh day but it is premature to speak about his eyesight," Mitichkin said.

Doctors view the condition of Filin as stable, his recovery from eye surgery is proceeding without complications, and his transportation to a Belgian clinic is not needed at the moment, Alexei Levchenko, an aide to Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, told Interfax on Saturday.

"Sergei Filin has been transferred to a regular hospital room from intensive care. Doctors see his condition as stable, and his recovery is proceeding as planned. The main goal now is the full recovery of his eyesight," Levchenko said.

In commenting on some media reports suggesting that Filin could be transported to a Belgian clinic for treatment, Levchenko said, "The matter is not being put this way. It is true that there is a very good burns center in Belgium, but Filin is being provided with the essential treatment in our conditions as well."

It was reported earlier that an unknown man had sprayed acid in Filin's face near his apartment in the early hours of Friday, causing him serious burns.

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky says he admires courage of Filin.

"Much to my astonishment, we spoke about artistic plans and current ballet management instead of problems and Sergei's condition. Sergei's courage amazed me," Medinsky told Interfax on Saturday after he had visited Filin at the hospital.

Medinsky expressed his indignation at the attack.

"I would never have thought that artistic differences may take such forms. I wholeheartedly sympathize with Sergei and his family. This is a terrible crime," he said.

The minister said that the country was doing its best to help the artistic director recover. "[Vice-Premier Olga] Golodets personally controls the case," Medinsky said.

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