New Art Installation/Hotel Comes With a View of the Bethlehem Wall
Posted on Mar 4, 2017
Acclaimed British street artist Banksy has presented artwork in Palestine before, but his new venture is his largest installation in the West Bank yet.
The Walled Off Hotel, at once art installation and real hotel, opened this week in Bethlehem. The 10-room hotel overlooks the controversial border wall dividing Israel and Palestine.
The Telegraph reported:
“It has the worst view of any hotel in the world,” Banksy stated, but the view is unlikely to deter visitors. The Telegraph continued:
As Al-Jazeera noted, the famously secretive street artist has a long history of creating politically charged work in Palestine:
The Walled Off Hotel features a gallery of work by local Palestinian artists and employs people from the surrounding community.
“I would like to invite everyone to come here, invite Israeli civilians to come visit us here,” hotel manager Wisam Salsaa told The Guardian. “We want them to learn more about us, because when they know us it will break down the stereotypes and things will change.”
However, it may be difficult for Israeli visitors to reach the hotel.
“Israelis are banned from visiting Bethlehem and its famous sites,” The Guardian noted. “And although Banksy has chosen a site officially under Israeli military control – meaning it is legal for Israelis to stay there – all the roads to reach it involve an illegal journey through Palestinian-controlled territory.”
Still, the artist urges Israelis and visitors from around the world to stay at the hotel.
“The aim is to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves,” the hotel’s website states. “We offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis.”
Rooms in the hotel range from a simple one with military-style “budget” bunk beds to a “presidential” suite complete with a Jacuzzi. Pictures are available on the hotel’s website.
—Posted by Emma Niles
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