After a horrific acid attack over two weeks ago that left him scarred and without sight, the artistic director of Moscow's famed Bolshoi Theater ballet left a Russian clinic on Monday and planned to travel to a hospital in Aachen, Germany, for further treatment.
"My body is full of strength and energy," Sergei Filin told reporters in Moscow, according to wire services, which said he could be seen wearing sunglasses, a hat and a bandage on his head as he left the clinic with his wife. AP described his skin as being red and swollen from burns.
Still, Filin continued to remain defiant in the wake of the attack. On Jan. 17, a male assailant splashed sulphuric acid on Filin's face. Filin has also indicated he knows who is responsible for the attack. "My heart tells me who did it," he told Rossiya 24 television in an interview on Sunday.
'All My Energy Is Focused on Recovering Eyesight'
Police suspect that the perpetrator is someone connected professionally with the 42-year-old artistic director. As creative director of the world famous Bolshoi Theater, Filin has been responsible for the casting of highly desired and lucrative roles since March 2011.
In a television interview, he said: "I don't care about my face, my hair, my looks. I'm ready to be completely bald, look like a Frankenstein. It will have no impact on my heart, on my soul. All my inner self, all my energy is focused on recovering eyesight."
The Bolshoi artistic director is expected to undergo further surgery in Germany.
Contacted by a journalist from the German news agency DPA on Monday, the Aachen University Hospital where Filin is to be treated would not provide any comment, citing privacy laws.
In a series of interviews, Filin has several times indicated in recent days he knows who attacked him. "I certainly have a suspicion about who did this," he told the BBC. "But I will only speak about this when investigators are ready to announce this."
Filin has said he will continue his involvement with the Bolshoi Theater, even as he undergoes further treatment. The former ballet dancer said he will remain in close contact with his deputy, his former wife and ex-prima ballerina Galina Stepanenko, 46.