'The worst view in the world.'
British artist, Banksy has just opened a hotel in Bethlehem, situated only a stone’s throw away from the wall that separates Israel from Palestinian, which was built in 2002.
The former pottery workshop has been transformed into an ‘all-inclusive vandals resort’ called the Walled Off Hotel which boasts a tea shop, art gallery, museum and graffiti supplies store.
Banksy describes the hotel and surrounding area as an ‘open-hearted community resource’ that is not allied to any sole party or group, but as a symbol for everyone, creating unity and conversation.
The hotel is set in an area where both Israelis and Palestinians are free to roam, but the reality is far from that.
The interior reminds visitors of Britain’s role in the state during the period, with gentleman club like furnishings including aged leather, fabric lamps and wooden vintage tables.
His signature of course is still apparent. Visitor can spot symbols representing modern day media scattered throughout such as, oil-paintings featuring refugees and statues choking on tear-gas fumes.
Banksy describes the hotel as ‘a three-storey cure for fanaticism, with limited car parking’, and says it was the right time to take on the project.
‘It's exactly one hundred years since Britain took control of Palestine and started rearranging the furniture – with chaotic results.
'I don't know why, but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.’
Although predominately dressed by Banksy himself, some of the rooms have been decorated by other artists such as, Sami Musa from Ramallah and French-Canadian Dominique Petrin.
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