Pippa Bacca

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Pippa Bacca
09-02-07 Pippa.jpg
Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo

(1974-12-09)9 December 1974
Died31 March 2008(2008-03-31) (aged 33)
Cause of deathStrangulation

Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (9 December 1974 – 31 March 2008), known as Pippa Bacca, was an Italian performance and feminist artist.

On 31 March 2008, Pippa Bacca disappeared in Gebze in Turkey during an international hitchhiking trip to promote world peace under the motto, "marriage between different peoples and nations".[1] Bacca and fellow artist Silvia Moro were symbolically wearing a wedding dress during their trek.[2] On 11 April 2008 the police arrested a man who later confessed to her murder and led the authorities to the discovery of her body.[2][3][4]


Pippa Bacca was born in Milan. Her father, Guido Pasqualino di Marineo, was originally from Naples. Her mother, Elena Manzoni, was the older sister of artist Piero Manzoni. Bacca worked with different media, including photography, collage and embroidery. Her 2004 piece Surgical Mutations consisted of a series of leaves collected in a wood and cut-out as to resemble different floral species. In 2006 she had her first institutional solo exhibition, The Broken Image at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan.[5]

"Brides on Tour"[edit]

In 2008 Bacca started working on a performative piece to promote world peace called "Brides on Tour," with fellow artist Silvia Moro.[6] The artists, wearing white wedding dresses, departed from Milan on 8 March 2008, travelled through the Balkans and arrived in Turkey twelve days later. They had planned to hitchhike through the Middle East, their final destination being Jerusalem.[4][6] Concerning their attire, they reported on their website that "That's the only dress we'll carry along — with all stains accumulated during the journey."[3][7]


After travelling together across Europe, Bacca and Moro split up just prior to arriving in Istanbul, planning to meet up again in Beirut. Bacca was last seen on 31 March.[3] Her credit card was reportedly used at noon of that day.[4] Bacca's naked, strangled, and decomposing body was found near some bushes near Gebze, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Istanbul.[1][2]

The man who led the police to her body, Murat Karataş,[3] was detained[2] and arrested after reportedly confessing to raping and strangling Bacca on 31 March after taking her in his Jeep from a gas station.[3] DNA testing suggested that Bacca was raped by multiple people, and not just Karataş.[8] The suspect said he was "under the influence of drugs and alcohol" and could not remember what happened.[9]

Karataş had been traced after he inserted his own SIM card into the victim's cell-phone - which alerted police, since he had a previous conviction for theft.[2] Bacca's own information was wiped from the mobile device, implicating, according to the lawyer for Bacca's family, at least one other accomplice since Karataş could not speak English and left school after the third grade.[9]


In the aftermath, Bacca's sister Maria gave a statement to the Italian news agency ANSA. "[Bacca's] travels were for an artistic performance and to give a message of peace and trust, but not everyone deserves trust... We weren't particularly worried because she had been hitchhiking for a long time, and thus was capable of avoiding risky situations... She was a determined person when it came to her art".[4]

The Turkish president Abdullah Gül called the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to express his grief.[10] A commentary in Today's Zaman, while expressing sadness for the woman's death, criticized the supposed obsequiousness of Turkish politicians to "foreigners" in the Bacca case, writing: "Let's face it, if Pippa were a Turk, some people would feel free to say that a hitchhiking woman deserves to be raped." The columnist argued that local problems such as violence against women should be addressed regardless of Turkey's concern for being shamed before foreigners.[11] Hürriyet, a top selling Turkish newspaper, printed an article on the murder entitled "We are ashamed".[12]

On the occasion of the 2009 Art Festival in Faenza, Istanbul Biennial director Fulya Erdemci made a public apology on behalf of her country. Bacca's fellow traveler Silvia Moro returned to Milan and stopped making art after the incident.


A documentary about the story of Bacca, La Mariée (The Bride), was directed by the French filmmaker Joël Curtz in 2012.[13] The film features video archives from Bacca's camera that the film team had been able to recover.[14]

In 2020 the city of Milan dedicated to Bacca a public garden in the Brera district.[15]

See also[edit]


  • Giorgio Bonomi, Martina Corgnati, Brides on Tour, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, and Byblos Art Gallery, Verona, 2009.
  • Pippa Bacca, Eva e le altre, Cambi Editore, Poggibonsi, Italy, 2016.


  1. ^ a b Elisabetta, Povoledo (19 April 2008). "Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip is Mourned". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e "'World peace' hitcher is murdered". BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Missing Italian 'World Peace' Hitcher And Artist Found Dead In Turkey". All Headline News. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "'Brides for peace' protester found dead in Turkey". BreakingNews. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  5. ^ "Pippa Bacca nell'Enciclopedia Treccani".
  6. ^ a b "Itinerary". Brides on Tour. Fotoup.net. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Brides on Tour". Brides on Tour. Fotoup.net. Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Bacca faced multiple rape". Hürriyet Daily News. Istanbul. 2008.
  9. ^ a b Guler, Mehmet (5 November 2008). "Pippa Bacca murderer says he does not remember killing". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Povoledo, Elisabetta (19 April 2008). "Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip is Mourned". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Karabat, Ayse (20 April 2008). "Being disgraced in the eyes of whom?". Today's Zaman.
  12. ^ "Missing Italian woman artist Pippa Bacca found dead in Turkey". Hürriyet. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  13. ^ "The Bride (La Mariée)". JoëlCurtz.com. Joël Curtz.
  14. ^ "The Bride". International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Con Parco Nivea nuova vita per giardino Pippa Bacca a Milano - Economia". 7 June 2022.

External links[edit]