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Published: 11:41, December 10, 2023 | Updated: 11:42, December 10, 2023
Italian climate change protesters turn Venice's Grand Canal green
By Reuters
Published:11:41, December 10, 2023 Updated:11:42, December 10, 2023 By Reuters

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists are hanged on the Rialto bridge in Venice after fluorescein was poured into the Grand Canal to make the water fluorescent during a protest against the COP28 'fail' on climate, on Dec 9, 2023. The banner reads "COP28 : While the Government speak we are hanging on by a thread". (PHOTO / AFP)

VENICE, Italy - Italian environmentalists used a dye to turn Venice's Grand Canal green on Saturday in protest at what they said was a lack of progress at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group, dangling from the Rialto Bridge over the canal with the aid of climbing ropes, also displayed a banner that read: "COP28: While the government talks, we are hanging by a thread."

Small stretches of rivers and canals in Italian cities, from the Po in Turin in the north to Rome's Tiber in the south, were also turned green in similar protests.

"In a few hours, these waters will be back to what they were before," Extinction Rebellion said.

ALSO READ: Venice's waters turn fluorescent green near Rialto Bridge

"In the meantime, while governments talk, we count the damage and the victims from constant floods and fires," it added in a statement.

A gondola cruises on the Grand Canal after Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists poured fluorescein near the Rialto bridge in Venice to make the water fluorescent during a protest against the COP28 'fail' on climate, on Dec 9, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

The group said that the visual effect was created by a fluorescein dye that was harmless and used in industry to trace items in water.

However, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro denounced what he called "eco-vandals" and called on the Italian authorities to punish them.

Boat traffic on the Grand Canal was halted on Saturday during the protest, and the canal water and the recently restored columns on the Rialto Bridge had to be checked on safety grounds, the mayor said.

READ MORE: Venice to experiment with entry fee, visitor cap from April 2024

"Venice is a fragile city, one that is to be loved and respected! Enough is enough," he added.

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