On Sunday (16 June) the Soviet ballet dancers Valery and Galina Panov spent the first day of their new life resting in their Tel Aviv apartment and warding off hordes of friends.
On Sunday (16 June) the Soviet ballet dancers Valery and Galina Panov spent the first day of their new life resting in their Tel Aviv apartment and warding off hordes of friends. For the, the two-year struggle to leave the Soviet Union was finally over.
The Panovs arrive dint El Aviv late on Saturday night (15 June) and were greeted by an ecstatic crowd of about 50 people. Among them were members of the British committee which campaigned on the dancers' behalf while they waited for permits to leave the soviet Union.
The dancer were flown to Israel on board an Australia Airlines plane, after a 24-hour stop-over in Vienna. Observers said this decision was unusual and indicated the importance attached to the Panvos by Jewish authorities. Jewish emigres usually have to wait in the Austrian capital until there is a flight by the Israeli airline, El Al. Nonetheless, the couple were not allowed on to the aircraft until the last minute - after doctors were convinced Mrs. Panov, who recently suffered a miscarriage, was fit to travel.
Soon after their arrival int El Aviv, the Panovs were issued with Israeli identity cards. They were obviously tired, but agreed to meet newsmen. thirty-five-year-old Valery Panov told journalists; "We are home and this is wee we shall make our home." However, he did indicate that they would not confine their appearances to Israel. "Art belongs to the whole world," Panov said.
Panov added that the situation in the Soviet Union had changed recently. The Authorities were no longer as Liberal in issuing visas to would-be emigrants. Panov said people with professions considered important by the Soviet authorities were finding it increasingly difficult to obtain permission to leave.