Water in Venice's Grand Canal appeared fluorescent green last Sunday, leading to an investigation by local authorities, reports The Washington Post.
Local residents were the first to see the green patch in the water near the Rialto Bridge, posted Luca Zaia, President of the Veneto region, on Twitter.
According to a statement from the regional environmental agency, samples from the water initially found no harmful substances. The agency suspects the use of fluorescein, a dye sometimes used in sewage system management.
Nessun pericolo di inquinamento dalla chiazza verde fluorescente apparsa ieri mattina nelle acque di Venezia, ma preoccupa il rischio emulazione.
Purtroppo Venezia è diventata palcoscenico di azioni ben sopra le righe: servono risposte adeguate e forti. pic.twitter.com/zcf9JBcXID
— Luca Zaia (@zaiapresidente) May 29, 2023
The incident has been compared to a similar act by Argentine artist Nicolás García Uriburu, who in 1968 dyed the waters green with a fluorescent dye during the Venice Biennale to raise awareness of ecological issues. Local media have suggested that an environmental group may be responsible.
Venice, a vulnerable city due to rising sea levels, has invested heavily to adapt to climate change and preserve its environment from the impact of mass tourism.
Recently, environmental awareness groups in Europe, including Italy, have engaged in disruptive actions to protest climate issues. Earlier in May, activists poured charcoal into the Trevi Fountain in Rome to turn its water black.