Banksy opens Bethlehem hotel decorated like English gentlemen’s club

Apparently it's 'a real business venture, not an art stunt'

Jack Shepherd
Friday 03 March 2017 12:54 GMT
Banksy art on a building wall in Bethlehem in the West Bank
Banksy art on a building wall in Bethlehem in the West Bank (Getty)

From Dismaland to The Son of a Migrant from Syria, Banksy has created some of the most thought-provoking artworks in recent history.

In another bold statement, the famed graffiti artist has opened a hotel just metres away from the controversial barrier wall that separates the Israeli and Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

Titled The Walled Off Hotel, the nine-bedroom building based in Bethlehem is staffed by local people - none of whom knew Banksy was the one setting up the hotel - and aims to bring tourists to the destination.

While the anonymous artist’s team are insisting the hotel is a ‘real business venture, not an art stunt’ according to The Guardian, there are dozens of Banksy works within, as well as a themed bar and interactive exhibits.

The signing of the Balfour Declaration - which helped establish Israel 100 year ago - is depicted in one, while the hotel is “decorated to resemble an English gentlemen’s club from colonial times” to represent Britain’s role in the region.

Channel 4 news detail how Banksy wants ‘people from all sides of the Middle East conflict’ to stay, and that he has no affiliation with any political party.

Banksy first visited Bethlehem in 2005, when he stenciled some of his best-known works on the West Bank wall. One depicted a man wearing a balaclava throwing flowers, while the other featured a girl frisking a soldier.

The hotel marks the artist's first major installation since Dismaland, the temporary theme park that appeared in 2015 at Weston-super-Mare.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in