Banksy hopes his unique lodging in the West Bank will bring visitors and dialogue
Standing beside the controversial barrier wall separating Israel from the Palestinian territories, this new lodging in Bethlehem is a hotel, an art gallery, and a museum. Owned by street artist Banksy, an England-based graffiti artist, film director, and political activist who prefers anonymity, the 10-room hotel is designed to evoke conversation, exploration, and social and political awareness.
An article in the Guardian describes what the unique hotel is like inside. All the rooms, which only get 25 minutes of direct sunlight a day, look out onto the tall concrete barrier wall, and a few have the view of an Israeli settlement on a hillside.
“Walls are hot right now, but I was into them long before [Donald] Trump made it cool,” said Banksy in a statement to the Guardian.
Banksy arrived in Bethlehem over 10 years ago and left paintings on the barrier wall which are now popular among tourists who visit the area. Guests are now few and far between in the town, given tighter Israeli controls on travel between Israel and Palestine and the economic hardships there. But Banksy says he hopes the hotel will help to change that.
According to the article, hotel staff say they hope the hotel facilitates greater understanding about the realities on the ground in Bethlehem. Even though the hotel site is officially under Israeli military control (so citizens could technically stay there), all roads to reach it involve illegally venturing through Palestinian-controlled territory.
The guests who do make it will find interesting art work all around the hotel, including some of Banksy’s work. The hotel also houses an art gallery to show the work of Palestinian artists.
The Walled-Off Hotel officially opens on March 20 and despite the challenges guests may face getting there, it’s expected to be a popular destination.
Support Aleteia takes a minute
If you’re reading this article, it’s precisely thanks to your generosity and to that of many other people like you that make possible the evangelization project of Aleteia. Here some numbers:
- 20 million of users around the world read Aleteia.org every month.
- Aleteia is published daily in eight languages: French, English, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Slovenian.
- Each month, our readers view more than 50 million pages.
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia’s social media pages.
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos.
- All of this work is carried out by 60 people working full-time and approximately 400 other collaborators (writers, journalists, translators, photographers…).
As you can imagine, behind these numbers there is a big effort. We need your support so we can keep offering this service of evangelization to everyone, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
Support Aleteia from as little as $1 – and only takes a minute. Thank you!