- by Mutasem -
Banksy has been involved in Palestine for more than 11 years now. He was one of the first artists to bring street art to the region. Banksy's works of political and social commentary have been featured on different places including streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy’s Dark humor with Graffiti work reached its top when his latest artwork made a huge fuss in the media presenting the opening of The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, adding a huge step to the amount of Banksy's involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and taking it to another level. The Hotel’s name is a play on the Waldorf hotel chain.
Not being limited only to street art, this time Banksy took this art and put it in a unique hotel promising it’s residents - as Banksy described it - the worst view ever from a hotel room. The hotel is only is four metres from the wall, from the rooms you could see Banksy art on the 708 km long wall, with 62 percent of it already built, isolating and annexing great parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem.
The 10 room hotel, built in the style of a colonial club, completed with high end leather sofas from china, range from US$30 for a bunk bed in one room to US$965 a night for the presidential suite. All rooms look out onto the wall and its upper floor stands eye-to-eye with an Israeli watchtower that overlooks parts of Bethlehem. Many people were surprised when The hotel opened it’s doors, including Palestinian officials since it was built in complete secrecy over a 14-month period.
Elton John played the piano on the opening day of the hotel, saying “it's an honor for me to play in Palestine”.
So whether you are planning to tour Bethlehem, visit the church of the nativity or see Banksy’s art on the separation wall, a visit isn’t complete without being at The Walled Off Hotel.
Green Olive Tours conducts a daily special tour from the hotel which is offered to everyone who books a room. The Bansky 'East/West Jerusalem Tour is modeled on Green Olive's famous 'Greater Jerusalem Tour'. Contact the hotel for details.
Green Olive also conducts a Banksy Tour from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that visits the hotel and Wall.
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