Banksy opens a hotel on the West Bank barrier wall
Banksy has been quiet since his controversial 2015 project Dismaland, the "bemusement" which subverted the rides and attractions of a classic theme park in bleak seaside surroundings.
The man whose identity still remains a mystery has in fact been busy with creating The Walled Off Hotel, a 10 room building located next to the barrier wall the separates Israeli and Palestinian territories.
"The worst view in the world" Banksy says of the view from his new hotel in Bethlehem pic.twitter.com/FQFQFWvCBJ— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) March 3, 2017
The hotel which opened to press today has rooms starting at AED135 and will open for online bookings later this month. Though representatives of Banksy claim it will run as a functional hotel it is more likely to be seen as a living exhibition of protest art rather than somewhere people will earnestly review on TripAdvisor.
The concepts aren't new - Banksy after all realised activism sells long before Kenco Coffee did - but they still strike a chord. Rooms are decorated with uncomfortable statements such as barbed wire in the presidential suite and prison-style bunk-beds in another room. The dining room will have a "colonial" theme, serving traditional afternoon tea to visitors.
It is the latest in a long line of art focused on the area of conflict by the artist who adorned the West Bank with iconic graffiti including a man throwing flowers like a grenade and a peace dove with a target on its chest.
New banksy artwork in a room in his new Bethlehem hotel pic.twitter.com/Rut1NvIu5Q— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) March 3, 2017
According to The Guardian, the artist "Wants to spark dialogue, with his biggest target market not his legions of international fans, but young Israelis who might normally spend their weekends clubbing in Tel Aviv."