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Welcome to “The Worst View,” a Bethlehem Hotel by Banksy

posted on: Mar 3, 2017

BY: Yara Jouzy/ Contributing Writer

The occupied Palestinian city of Bethlehem opened its newest hotel this week called the “The Hotel With the Worst View in the World”. Plastered all over the walls of the hotel are works by famous British graffiti artist and pro-Palestine activist, Banksy.

The walled off hotel is made up of 10 rooms, and it has three floors that all have the same view of Israel’s apartheid wall. Rooms are available for $30 a night and include a view of an Israeli army watchtower. The 8-metre high wall is the world’s largest open-air prison, forcing Palestinians to be prisoners in their own homes.

In 2005, Banksy stated that the wall is illegal and began his political activism with the Palestinians by portraying their daily struggles through graffiti art. Banksy has several murals on the wall, many of which are in Bethlehem. His art is often inspired by Israeli propaganda that portrays Palestinians as terrorists.

The wall is packed with other works of art from all over the world that symbolize Palestinian resistance and oppression, which is also Banksy’s intent. Many tourists visiting Palestine and Israel sign the wall and mark their support for the Palestinian people.

Banksy’s new hotel was kept a secret for 14 months until it was revealed this week. His clandestine identity and art methods have made him a popular figure around the globe. According to the artist, the hotel, “offers a warm welcome to people from all sides of the conflict and across the world.”

Guests of this extraordinary hotel can find original Banksy stencil graffiti throughout the rooms, in addition to gruesome decorations, such as statues of people choking on tear gas, oil paintings of refugees with life jackets floating by, and oxygen masks hanging from the ceilings. Other artwork in the hotel includes a Palestinian and an Israeli in a pillow fight on the wall in Room 3, which is known as “Banksy’s Room.”

The hotel also features a museum with a British colonial era gentlemen’s club theme. In another section of the hotel, a life-size statue of Arthur James Balfour signing the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which essentially helped create the state of Israel. These well-thought decorations clearly convey the life of a Palestinian under the occupation, whether it’s on the walls, in a nook, or hanging from the ceilings.

Banksy hopes his hotel will bring together tourists from all over the world to a city where Israel’s occupation is extremely evident. He aims to help Palestinians by giving them jobs at the hotel, as well showcasing their talents by featuring them in the hotel’s museum.

Bansky art in Bethlehem

Bansky art in Bethlehem

Bansky art in Bethlehem