If there was ever making a Statement with a capital S, this is it....
"Acclaimed British street artist Banksy has presented artwork in Palestine before, but his new venture is his largest installation in the West Bank yet.
The Walled Off Hotel, at once art installation and real hotel, opened this week in Bethlehem. The 10-room hotel overlooks the controversial border wall dividing Israel and Palestine.
The Telegraph reported:
The 10-room Walled Off Hotel - built in the style of a colonial club, complete with delicate china and deep leather sofas - stands in the shadow of a wall considered illegal by most of the international community.
All of its rooms look out onto the wall’s bleak concrete slabs and its upper floors stand eye-to-eye with the Israeli watch towers that loom over parts of Bethlehem.
The hotel was built in complete secrecy over a 14-month period, surprising even Palestinian officials when its doors suddenly flew open on Friday.
“It has the worst view of any hotel in the world,” Banksy stated, but the view is unlikely to deter visitors. The Telegraph continued:
The hotel is aimed at attracting foreign visitors to a corner of the occupied West Bank where they might not usually stay, at once giving a badly-needed boost to the Palestinian economy and showing them the realities of life surrounded by the wall.
The hotel opening is designed to coincide with the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 statement by the British government in favour of a Jewish homeland that helped pave the way for the creation of Israel.
“It’s exactly one hundred years since Britain took control of Palestine and started re-arranging the furniture - with chaotic results,” Banksy said. “I don’t know why but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.”