The water of the Grand Canal in Venice appeared dyed a mysterious fluorescent green

The water of the Venice Grand Canalnear to Rialt Bridgeor, this Sunday has been dyed with fluorescent green without the reason being known at the moment, for which reason the delegate of the Italian Government, Michele di Bari, called an urgent meeting.

The bright green spot appeared in the canal that connects Campo San Luca with the Grand Canal and little by little it spread through the rest of the Venetian canals after the start of the Vogalonga, a regatta that has been held since 1974 and was born as a demonstration to protect the city.

According to the newspaper “La Repubblica”, the substance that has dyed the water green does not appear to be toxic and could be the coloring of one of the liquids used to find where there are leaks or used by speleologists.

The Veneto Environment Protection Agency (Arpav) is carrying out analyzes to verify what the liquid is made of.

So far the content is not known or where the color came from.

The prefect of Venice called an urgent coordination meeting between the different police forces of the city to find out its origin and study the actions to be taken.

For the moment, no movement has claimed responsibility for this action and the “Last Generation” ecological activists have also denied their involvement, who in recent days have thrown black paint into the water of the Trevi Fountain in Rome and other buildings and works of art to protest against lack of attention to climate change.


The Italian media pointed out that this episode recalls the initiative of the Argentine artist Nicolás García Uriburu, who died in 2016 at the age of 79, who in 1968 had poured a fluorescent green liquid into the Grand Canal to protest against water pollution.

The French art critic and friend of the artist, Pierre Restany, later he classified the fact as “a master stroke, a splendid demonstration of art’s moral hygiene.”

Nicolas Garcia Uriburu
On June 19, 1968, Nicolás García Uriburu dyed the canals of Venice green.

“It can be said that Nicolás chose green because the chosen product, when reacting with water, gave green. And besides, he adored nature and the green of the plants. Therefore, the green chose him”, he sentenced Blanca Isabel Alvarez Toledo, his wife, who at that time was a model for Pierre Cardin. The random color that came off from the contact of that dust with the water would mark the environmentalist spirit that would define the ideology with which García Uriburu would dot all of his work from that moment on until the end of his days.

The coloring began at six in the morning of that Monday, June 19. The tide was high that morning, and they had the collaboration of the gondolieri -those who best know the comings and goings of the waters of the canals-, factors that helped a greater spread of color. “The help of gondolieri It was essential because they knew the movement of the waters, they knew about art and they perfectly understood the importance of what Nicolás wanted to do by extending art to nature. They belong to a very important caste in Venice and were fundamental”Blanca recalled.

Thus, García Uriburu got on the boat of his gondolier friend Memo, while Blanca got on another. He would shoot the dye from his, and she would photograph the action., from the water, and then from a bridge. They were a few minutes, and then they decided to separate. Venice was alert. Word had already gotten out that a “madman”, a “terrorist”, had been dumping a dangerous and flammable chemical into the water and who intended to incinerate the entire city.

(with information from EFE)

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The day Nicolás García Uriburu dyed the canals of Venice green, according to the woman who immortalized him