Venetians woke up to a surprising sight on Sunday morning—a section of water in the city’s central waterway had turned fluorescent green. Local authorities are investigating the cause and have collected water samples for analysis.
There are various theories about what may have caused the water to change color. Some speculate that it could be due to the release of dye or a protest by environmental activists. Italian media reported that the police are reviewing CCTV footage to determine if the incident was a deliberate stunt coinciding with the Volgalonga regatta happening over the weekend.
Maurizio Vesco from the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection explained in an interview that preliminary analysis suggests the green patch was likely caused by the release of fluorescein, a harmless dye commonly used to trace water flow. However, he expressed surprise at the amount of dye present, as the size of the patch indicates that at least 1 kilogram of fluorescein was dumped into the waters. Vesco finds it unlikely that such a significant amount was released accidentally.
Many people on social media drew comparisons between the recent incident and a stunt from 1968 when Argentine artist Nicolás García Uriburu dyed the waters of the Grand Canal green to raise awareness about ecological issues.