New York Times, 2008
|Pippa Bacca in Istanbul a few days before she was killed. Ms. Bacca and Silvia Moro were stressing the need for global harmony. Credit Sirio Magnabosco|
MILAN — The two friends, both performance artists, hatched the idea about a year ago: wearing white wedding dresses, they would hitchhike from Italy to the Balkans to the Middle East to send a message of peace and “marriage between different peoples and nations.”
But the message delivered by their performance piece was mostly sad and raw. After just three weeks on the road, one of the two Italian artists, Pippa Bacca, 33, was raped and killed by a driver who offered her a ride.
Her naked body was found on April 11 in some bushes near a Turkish village after a suspect led investigators to the site. Although an official cause of death has not been given, local Turkish authorities said Ms. Bacca had been raped and strangled.
The killing has stirred broad public anger and grief in Turkey and Italy. Still, what Ms. Bacca would have wanted, her family and friends said, was her message of peace to live on.
“She thought that in the world there were more positive than negative people, and that it was right to be trusting,” said Rosalia Pasqualino, a sister of Ms. Bacca, whose real name was Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo. “Trust is a very human factor, and she believed that to understand people, you had to get to know them.”
“The family wanted to remember her in a joyous manner,” said Silvia Moro, 37, the artist who set out with Ms. Bacca on the trip, billed as “Brides on Tour,” on March 8. She said she last saw her friend on March 19 in Istanbul, where the two split up and agreed to rejoin each other in Beirut.
The performance piece, a trip through nearly a dozen countries in the Balkans and the Middle East, many of them ravaged by war recently, was meant to underscore that “by overcoming differences and lowering the level of conflict,” individuals and cultures could come together, Ms. Moro said in a telephone interview. “Meeting people was the key.”
It's a great ideal, but this is not an ideal world!
Ms. Bacca’s trip was cut short near the village of Gebze, about 40 miles southeast of Istanbul. An unemployed man, Murat Karatas, 38, has confessed to killing her shortly after picking her up on March 31, the authorities have said.
|Pippa Bacca on her “Brides on Tour” |
project for peace. Credit FotoUp
That's a nice ideal too, but completely unrealistic.
Italian and Turkish government officials immediately emphasized that the killing had been a cruel act by a possibly deranged person and could have happened almost anywhere.
“Just read any newspaper — people get killed for playing music too loudly, and women get raped in the subway; there are fiends everywhere,” Ms. Pasqualino said. “This was not a question of Turkey or of religion.”
It could have happened anywhere, but it happened in Turkey and was committed by a Muslim. Pippa was an infidel in a Muslim state. What he did may not have even contravened the Quran - "She who is in your right hand, do with her what you wish", Mohammed.
Hurriyet Daily News 2012
This file photo shows Italian artist Pippa Bacca during a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Hürriyet photo
The Court of Appeals has upheld a life sentence for a Turkish man found guilty of the 2008 rape and murder of Italian artist and peace activist Pippa Bacca, noting that he was detached from human values and felt no remorse for his deeds, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
The Court’s First Chamber, which handled the case, rejected objections from the defense that the victim had engaged in consensual sex with the man found guilty of her rape and murder, 42-year-old Murat Karataş, and that the lower court’s ruling was based on an incomplete assessment of the case. The court found that Karataş did not express any true remorse for the crime (after all, she was just an infidel) and failed to cooperate with the investigation, pointing especially to the facts that the assailant was captured after he took Bacca’s mobile phone and used it following the murder, and he refused to shed any light on the identity of a second man whose sperm was found on the victim’s clothes.
Pippa Bacca was the pseudonym of 33-year-old painter Giuseppina Pasqualina di Marineo. When she was killed she had been on a hitchhiking trip with a friend from Italy to Israel as part of their “Brides on Tour” project, a plea for peace in areas of conflict. She went missing in April 2008 after separating from her friend with plans to meet later in Beirut. Her naked body was found in a forest near the town of Gebze.
The murder caused a huge public outcry and a great deal of soul-searching in Turkey. Since then, many commemorations and cultural activities, including a documentary film, have been dedicated to Bacca.
Does anyone remember seeing this in the media when it happened?