The waters of Venice’s Grand Canal turn green; investigation launched

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A stretch of water in Venice’s famous Grand Canal has turned fluorescent green, stopping residents and tourists and prompting an investigation involving police, the regional environmental agency and other local agencies.

Residents near the Rialto Bridge on Sunday saw the green area of ​​water, fall Luca Zaia, head of the Veneto region, says an “urgent meeting” has been called by the administration.

The regional environmental group said in a statement that they had investigated the area and taken samples from the water. The initial analysis suggested that no substances were considered harmful to the environment, the group said. More tests will be done on Monday.

The group said they suspected that fluorescein, a powdered dye that can be diluted in water, had been used. He said the material can help manage sewage systems.

How Venice’s plan to protect itself from flooding turned into a disaster in itself

Lined with historic palaces and churches, the Grand Canal is a major waterway that is often crowded with tourists and gondolas. The Rialto Bridge, near where the water turned green, is the oldest crossing on the canal and is known as an emblem of Renaissance architecture and technology.

Climate activists poured vegetable charcoal into Rome’s Trevi Fountain on May 21 to protest Italy’s fossil fuel funding. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington Post)

The event was reminiscent of when Argentine artist Nicolás García Uriburu dropped fluorescein into the Grand Canal at the Venice Biennale in 1968. The dye temporarily turned the water phosphorescent, and the act was cast as a way of promote ecological awareness. On Sunday, local media suggested an environmental group may be responsible.

Venice, which was pumped by massive floods in 2019, is one of the most fragile cities in the world. It is particularly threatened by rising sea levels, which has prompted the city to launch an ambitious $6 billion project to save it from flooding. The city has also established strict rules for tourists that authorities say will help preserve the environment.

From hitting ‘The View’ to tomato soup: Climate protests get weird

A wave of alarming actions by environmental awareness groups has recently swept across Europe, including Italy. In May, Activists affiliated with the climate action group last generation entered the Trevi Fountain in Rome, a popular tourist attraction, and poured diluted charcoal into it. into the water to protest the use of fossil fuels and to celebrate recent floods in northern Italy that have killed at least 13 people. They were arrested and charged with vandalism.

The group has often staged what it describes as acts of civil disobedience in prominent tourist spots in Italy, including spraying paint on historic buildings and throwing soup on Van Gogh’s painting.

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