Banksy Puts Stamp on Bethlehem Hotel With ‘Worst View in the World’

Art Banksy Bethlehem Hotel Culture Street Art The Walled Off Hotel Walled Off Hotel Worst View in the World

Welcome to the “hotel with the worst view in the world.” Please be mindful of the million-dollar art on the walls.

The elusive British street artist Banksy has decorated the interiors of the Walled Off Hotel, a nine-room guesthouse in the West Bank city of Bethlehem whose windows overlook the barrier that separates the territory from Israel.

Among the rooms decorated by the artist, who has earned a following for tagging walls around the world with witty illustrations and dark political commentaries, is the “Banksy Room.”

In the room, a mural on the wall above a king-size bed depicts a Palestinian and an Israeli locked in combat — only they are having a pillow fight.

Banksy, who rarely comments on his work and keeps his real identity a secret, has made trips to the West Bank for years and has previously, under cover of night, painted the barrier itself. On a recent trip, he painted a mural on the barrier, just steps from his current project, showing a girl being pulled aloft by balloons.

Last year, four street murals in Gaza were attributed to him, including one depicting a Greek goddess amid the rubble of a destroyed house.

In addition to the guest rooms, Banksy has created something of a museum that includes surveillance cameras mounted like taxidermic trophies, a Grecian bust surrounded by a cloud meant to depict tear gas, and a wax statue depicting the signing of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 letter of British intent to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The hotel will open to guests on March 11, with rooms starting at $30 a night.    
Banksy, who first came to prominence by stenciling artworks on the walls of Bristol, England, has become an international superstar. In 2015, he created an exhibit called Dismaland, in which works by Israeli and Palestinian artists were displayed side by side. Some of Banksy’s works have sold at auction for more than $1 million.
 
By: Russell Goldman c/o New York Times

c/o The Walled of Hotel

banksy

 

ARTIST

If you stay at the Walled Off you could find yourself literally sleeping inside a work of art. So far Banksy, Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin have customized guest rooms, more will follow. As Diane Arbus once said ‘to live with an artwork is something different, to glimpse it from the corner of your eye.’

 

SCENIC

The hotel boasts floor to ceiling views of graffiti-strewn concrete from almost every room. And for the exhibitionists amongst you – many are within range of the army watchtower. All scenic rooms are ensuite and equipped with wifi, fridge, radio, personal safe and air conditioning.

 

BUDGET

Outfitted with surplus items from an Israeli military barracks, this room offers a bed from $30 a night. No frills, includes locker, personal safe, shared bathroom, complimentary earplugs.

 

PRESIDENTIAL

This palatial suite is equipped with everything a corrupt head of state would need – a plunge bath able to accommodate up to four revellers, original artwork, library, home cinema, roof garden, tiki bar and a water feature made from a bullet-riddled water tank. Comes with a complete set of Dead Sea bath minerals and an in-room dining service available upon request. Sleeps up to six.

 

PIANO BAR

Britain got its hands on Palestine in 1917 and the piano bar is themed as a colonial outpost from those heady days. It is equipped with languid ceiling fans, leather bound couches and an air of undeserved authority. Guests can peruse a collection of Banksy artworks that include vandalised oil paintings and statues choking on tear gas fumes. Warm scones and freshly brewed tea are served daily on fine bone china and the Walled Off Salad should not be missed.

 

GALLERY

This space enjoys complete autonomy from the rest of the hotel and is curated by the venerated historian and critic Ismal Duddera. He has assembled a permanent collection of real heft and significance. Many of the most notable Palestinian artists from the past 20 years are here – including Sliman Mansour with his iconic “And the Convoy Keeps Going”. An adjoining space is dedicated to temporary shows by upcoming artists. The gallery sells original work, prints and postcards.

 

MUSEUM

This home-made attraction is dedicated solely to the biography of the wall. It contains state-of-the-art audio visual presentations and a very old tree. Other highlights includes an animated history of the region, military pornography and original beach sculpture from Gaza. The cinema plays excerpts from the mighty Oscar nominated ‘Five Broken Cameras’ – and one of those very same bullet-damaged cameras is on display.

Curated in association with Dr Gavin Grindon from Essex University the museum contains almost fully fact-checked material and will be an ongoing repository for local stories, artefacts and testimonies.

 

THE PIANO

And through it all the piano plays – by itself. Our remote controlled mechanical baby grand has been programmed with a bespoke score of contemporary arrangements, plus every night it will play back a concert recorded exclusively for the hotel. We start our residency programme with 3D who presents the greatest hits of Massive Attack played with three hands. Concerts start every night from 9pm. Upcoming artists include Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea and Hans Zimmer.

Banksy

Reservation desk opens on

 March 11th From 9am  GMT

182 Caritas Street, Bethlehem, Palestine – CONTACT

 

 


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