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Tue Jun 21, 2016, 08:28 PM

Argentine pop artist and conservationist Nicolás García Uriburu dies at 78.

Argentine pop artist Nicolás García Uriburu, celebrated worldwide for using art as a vehicle for environmental activism, died on Sunday.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1937 García Uriburu first earned renown at the June 1968 Venice Biennale, where he dyed Venice's Grand Canal using fluorescein - a pigment which turns a bright green when synthesized by microorganisms in the water. He repeated the feat throughout the 1970s in among other places New York City's East River, the Seine in Paris, the Rhine at Kassel (Germany), the ports of Nice and of Antwerp, and at the mouth of southside Buenos Aires' polluted Riachuelo.

A pioneer in what became known as land art, he created a montage in pastel colors over photographs of each of those scenes, allowing unlimited photographic reproduction of the work for the sake of raising awareness of worsening water pollution.

After planting 7,000 oaks with the great German social artist Joseph Beuys in 1981, García Uriburu returned to Buenos Aires and went on to plant 50,000 trees there over the next few years.

García Uriburu's worldwide fame made him one of Argentina's leading conservationists, and his organized protests over the ongoing degradation of Buenos Aires' industrial Riachuelo waterway ultimately helped lead to the creation of the ACUMAR recovery agency in 2008 and to the waterway's subsequent improvement.

He also collected and became an expert in pre-Columbian art, donating hundreds of archaeological pieces to establish museums in Uruguay and in Buenos Aires.

As he hurried to a meeting on Sunday, García Uriburu collapsed and died holding on to a large tree in near his home in the upscale Barrio Parque area of Buenos Aires. He was 78.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1910891-nicolas-garcia-uriburu-el-artista-pop-con-fuertecompromiso-ambiental&prev=search

[center]

García Uriburu using fluorescin to protest pollution in southside Buenos Aires' Riachuelo with Greenpeace in 2010. His efforts helped mobilize government pollution control and cleanup efforts on the industrial waterway.[/center]

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