The hotel with the worst view in the world.
And also, the latest artwork by street artist Banksy. A chimpanzee bell-boy stands at the entrance to the Walled Off hotel in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.Where just meters from its doors is the concrete wall Israel has built in parts of the occupied West Bank.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AT ESSEX UNIVERSITY, GAVIN GRINDON, SAYING:
“Banksy chose the location for the hotel, and developed the whole hotel as a concept, he chose to put it next to the wall. Perhaps not for the great views but for other reasons that are more artistic.”
Built in secrecy over the last 14 months, every room overlooks the barrier – which he’s used as a canvas before. Styled to resemble a so called “English gentleman’s club from colonial times”, with a slight twist to the decor. Its bedroom walls and hallways decorated with the mysterious artist’s stencil graffiti work. One shows an Israeli soldier and masked Palestinian youth having a pillow fight. The dining room has cherubs hanging from the ceiling wearing oxygen masks.
It’s Banksy’s biggest project since his 2015 “Dismaland” at the English seaside, where similar themes – especially around refugees – ran through the work. But the Walled Off hotel also has many firsts.