Banksy is at it again. England’s unmerry prankster has just opened a hotel that claims to have “the worst views in the world”. Bethlehem’s Walled Off Hotel, which was designed and financed by the street artist known as Banksy, overlooks the 10 meter tall wall of concrete that separates the Palestinian Territories from Israel. Constructed in secret over the past year, the hotel is a working guesthouse, with nine rooms and a Presidential Suite.
The secretive British graffiti artist created most of the decor himself, with the assistance of Montreal-based artist Dominique Petrin. The pair kept the project under wraps by limiting access to the site, which was formerly a pottery workshop.
Open to the general public, the hotel is situated in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli control. The area is accessible to Palestinians, Israelis, and foreign visitors.
Banksy’s motivation for the project is to mark the centennial of British occupation of Palestine in 2017 and to highlight the ongoing shambles in the Middle East. It’s just too bad that Yasser Arafat isn’t still around to skim the profits from the hotel, but I’m confident that the Palestinian Authority will find a way to fuck it all up.