In Bethlehem, directly on the border to Israel, street artist Banksy opens the “Walled Off” hotel with the “ugliest view in the world”. This is due to the orientation of the rooms on the border wall between the Palestinian territory and Israel, which is only five meters away. Beautiful landscapes or even sunlight is scarce in the immediate vicinity of the building. With his hotel, Banksy wants to put a sign against foreclosure and fanaticism.
“Walls are hot right now”
Banksy, who prefers to paint his works on dreary walls, previously worked in Bethlehem. The city is marked by its border and is crossed by some, not very attractive, border walls. The graffiti, as well as the now opened hotel, are a political statement and are directed against the borders and the general situation between Palestinians and Israelis. At the opening, the artist ironically pointed out that he liked walls even before Donald Trump. The “Walled Off” takes its operation exactly one hundred years after the Balfour Declaration, in which the British pronounced the intention of founding the state Israel. In addition to the political exclamation point, the hotel should also boost the tourism of the city and create jobs.
In contrast to the surroundings and to the exterior of the building, the interior was decorated with great care. In addition to the world-famous graffitis of Banksy, the hotel has a gallery with largely unknown works by Palestinian artists. There is also a museum in the “Walled Off” and informs about the history of the region. The ten rooms are differently furnished, with the categories ranging from multiple rooms to the presidential Suite.