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Bolshoi Theater Chief Appeals To Putin Over 'Wrong' Treatment Of Embattled Director

Vladimir Urin, the head of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. (file photo)

The head of Russia's renowned Bolshoi Theater has sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin criticizing the treatment of a prominent director who was subjected to searches and questioning in an embezzlement investigation.

Bolshoi General Director Vladimir Urin told reporters on May 24 that the conduct of law-enforcement agencies toward Kirill Serebrennikov was "wrong."

Investigators spent hours searching Serebrennikov's Moscow apartment and the Gogol Center theater, where he is art director, on May 23.

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Serebrennikov was questioned as a witness in what the Investigative Committee said was a case of suspected embezzlement.

In remarks to reporters, Urin said that Serebrennikov "is an artist and, as far as I understand, he had nothing to do with finances."

Urin expressed hope that the investigation will be "objective, based purely on the law, and [conducted] with full respect to a man whose name is known to the world."

Dozens of Russian cultural figures came to Serebrennikov's defense on May 23, signing a statement calling him "an honest, fair, and open person."

With reporting by Interfax