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Russia Fires Bolshoi Chief Amid Scandals

The general director of Russia's Bolshoi Theater, Vladimir Urin (left), and his predecessor Anatoly Iksanov at a news conference in Moscow on July 9.
Russia's Bolshoi Theater has fired its director of 13 years following a series of scandals including an acid attack on the theater's artistic director.

Russia's Culture Ministry announced on July 9 that Anatoly Iksanov had been dismissed and replaced with Vladimir Urin, formerly the head of Moscow's Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater.

At a Moscow news conference, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said, "Everything pointed to the need for renewal at the theater."

The switch comes five months after an assailant threw acid in the face of artistic director Sergei Filin, leaving him almost totally blind.

One Bolshoi dancer, Pavel Dmitrichenko, was charged with ordering the assault.

Another, veteran performer Nikolai Tsiskaridze, had his contract terminated after questioning the authenticity of the attack and criticizing Iksanov for mismanaging the Bolshoi's $1 billion reconstruction.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, AFP, Interfax, and Reuters