One of the most popular (and reticent) artists in the world – #Banksy, just opened a #hotel in #Bethlehem. He hasn’t done this in order to draw an income or finally settle down, but is looking to make a poignant point yet again. The hotel is located only about four meters from the separation wall in Bethlehem, and has become famous for having the “worst view in the world."
Home for tourists and art enthusiasts
The establishment is called “The Walled Off Hotel”, and rightfully so. Located only a few meters from the controversial separation wall, it has nine rooms that offer the “worst view in the world” – a straight on view of the wall itself.
The artist was not present for the opening of the hotel but he made a few statements that were directly released to the press: “It has the worst view of any hotel in the world, but it offers a warm welcome to people from all sides of the conflict and across the world." Out of the nine rooms in the hotel, seven have been designed by the great artist himself, while the remaining two were contributions from Palestinian and Canadian artists.
Art housing art
Inside the hotel, fans of Banksy will be treated to a large number of installations that are brilliant and appropriate considering the location of the hotel and its history. Hanging above one of the beds in one of the rooms is a portrait of an Israeli and a Palestinian soldier having a pillow fight while a television set plays news in the background. The hotel is also home to a gallery that solely features Palestinian art, while a museum attempts to showcase the troubling history of the area, along with the many instances where westerners have interfered in an unwelcome fashion.
Surge in tourism
While Banksy’s work can be seen in a large number of countries around the world, the British artist has always focused his efforts towards raising awareness about the unrest in Israel. He has already made several incredible contributions to the region over the past decade, most of which can still be seen in the country.
According to Wisam Salsah, the manager of Banky’s hotel, there are more tourists visiting Bethlehem to observe Banksy’s work, than the ones who are interested in visiting for religious reasons. Now, if that isn’t a testament to the power of art, what is?