Banksy Controversially Opens an Art Hotel in Bethlehem
Located in the West Bank, the Walled Off Hotel, the name no doubt a play on both its close proximity to the separation wall and London’s Waldorf Hotel, will start taking bookings from Saturday, March 11, 2017.
After being greeted by a Chimpanzee at the entrance, you’ll encounter a plethora of Banksy artworks throughout the hotel. The Piano Bar is filled with a righteous cornucopia of Banksy fare from surveillance cameras mounted like hunting trophies on the wall and angels falling from heaven wearing airplane oxygen masks.
The bedrooms range from the budget option, which is kitted out with bunkbeds and surplus from military barracks to a palatial kitsch Presidential suite. Some have even been individually customised by Banksy, Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin. We imagine there will be high demand for the room with Banksy’s wall painting of an Israeli border policeman and Palestinian having a pillow fight.
Should you wish to splash the cash, then the Presidential suite kitted out with a plunge bath, home cinema and tiki bar is just right. Sleeping up to six, the hotel’s website describes it to be ‘equipped with everything a corrupt head of state would need.’
Never one to shy away from controversy or to use his art to make a statement about political and cultural injustices, Banksy’s latest venture seems to be more than just a stunt. The hotel’s Q&A’s page is certainly illuminating on intention: ‘Is it anti-Semitic? Definitely not. The Walled Off Hotel is an entirely independent leisure facility set up and financed by Banksy. It is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group. The aim is to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves. We offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis. Absolutely no fanaticism is permitted on the premises.’
Walled Off Hotel, 182 Caritas Street, Bethlehem, Palestine