Arts&Culture

Look inside dystopian Walled Off Hotel

Look inside dystopian Walled Off Hotel”

Room number three - known as "Banksy's Room" - showcases a wall mural showing a Palestinian and an Israeli engaged in a pillow fight over a king-size bed as 2-D feathers appear to float in the air. It will be open for bookings on its still-undisclosed website on March 11. There are nine bedrooms, with rooms as low as $30 a night, and young people from Bethlehem are likely to be the consumers.

Work from Palestinian artists will also be displayed in the hotel, which boasts one room with a view of the West Bank barrier and an Israeli watchtower. They hope the extra incentive of having the hotel serve as a museum of Banksy's work will make them visit Palestinian towns more often. Cleverly titled The Walled Off Hotel after the NY luxury Art Deco hotel, it is located four meters from the separation wall which cuts through the occupied West Bank. One small niche accommodates a life-size figure of Arthur James Balfour signing the 1917 letter that came to be known as the Balfour declaration - the basis for the global push for the creation of Israel.

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"It's exactly 100 years since Britain took control of Palestine and started rearranging the furniture - with chaotic results", Banksy said, according to the Guardian.

Of course, Banksy is making a political statement.

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Unlike some of the artist's more surreptitious public work - Banksy has thrilled fans and mystified others by mounting complex works in public spaces, usually without notice - the hotel offers a private experience of the artist's work, along with an opening party. "We want them to learn more about us, because when they know us it will break down the stereotypes and things will change". Their hopes may not be fulfilled, The Guardian notes, since visiting the Palestinian territories means breaking the law.

Banksy has made previous forays into the Palestinian territories. The aim is to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves.

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