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Russia Sacks Bolshoi Theater Chief Over Scandals

7/9/2013 7:42 AM ET

The head of Russia's renowned Bolshoi Theater was sacked on Tuesday following a series of scandals, including an acid attack on its artistic director, that tarnished the ballet company's reputation.

Announcing the dismissal of Anatoly Iksanov, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said in Moscow that Iksanov would be replaced by Vladimir Urin, former General Director of Moscow's Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater.

The decision to sack Iksanov was "not spontaneous," Medinsky told a news conference, adding that "the complicated situation means that the theater needs a new start."

According to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, Iksanov headed Russia's trademark cultural institution for almost 13 years. His term at Bolshoi marked with scandals, graft allegations and internal squabbles, many of which came to public attention after the January acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin that disfigured his face.

Despite the scandals, Iksanov was credited with carrying out a radical makeover of the theater that had long been considered a bastion of Russian tradition. He invited controversial choreographers and composers, started online broadcasts of the theater's performances and introduced workshops for young performers with little or no background in classical ballet.

by RTT Staff Writer

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