VENICE, Italy — Authorities in Italy are investigating after part of Venice’s famous Grand Canal appeared to turn a shade of fluorescent green on Sunday.
Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, posted a photograph of the green liquid, which spread through the water near the Rialto Bridge, the BBC reported.
“This morning a patch of phosphorescent green liquid appeared in the Grand Canal of Venice, reported by some residents near the Rialto Bridge,” Zaia wrote on Twitter. “The prefect has called an urgent meeting with the police to investigate the origin of the liquid.”
The bright green patch of water was first observed at around 9:30 a.m. local time, CNN reported. The patch grew slowly and multiple images on social media showed gondolas and water taxis cutting through the green waterway.
Environmental authorities were testing the water, according to The Associated Press.
According to CNN, city councilman Andrea Pegoraro blamed environmental activists who have been attacking Italian cultural heritage sites in recent months.
Ultima Generazione, a group that poured charcoal into the Trevi Fountain in Rome last weekend, told CNN they had nothing to do with Sunday’s incident.
“It wasn’t us,” the group told the cable news network.
The BBC reported that many social media users believed the bright green water was similar to a 1968 incident by Argentine artist Nicolás García Uriburu, who dyed the waters of the Grand Canal green to raise awareness of ecological issues.