British street artist Banksy opened The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem near the controversial wall dividing Israel from Palestine, calling it a lodging with the "worst view of any hotel in the world." The 10-room property serves as accommodation, museum, as well as a political or artistic statement of the artist regarding the wall that has the two regions pitting against each other.
The interior decors of the hotel mirrored the current state of Israel and Palestine with its war-themed designs hanging, standing or painted on the walls. The lobby has been decorated with cherubs wearing a mask of an airplane turbulence, while a Greco-Roman bust is seen covering its nose and mouth when spiraled with a tear gas.
The walls of the have controversial artworks: one room mural depicting a US army officer and a Middle Eastern officer fighting with pillows, and another painting shows a girl and her toy clown scribbling on a wall that says "Free Palestine."
The Guardian reports Banksy as saying, "Walls are hot right now, but I was into them long before [Donald] Trump made it cool," wanted the hotel to be fully booked while at the same time have the customers leave with a deep sense of thought of the world now.
The new hotel is seen to boost employment and generate income despite being in a place full of crime and political turmoil. The Walled Off Hotel Manager, Wisam Salsaa, invites Israelis to visit the hotel and come up close to the controversial wall. The citizens are banned in visiting Bethlehem and other popular sites.
However, the artist said that since the building is located in an Israeli-military-controlled property, it is still legal for Israelis to visit the site, although, coming there would mean crossing Palestinian-controlled territories. Banksy still believes that though people are worried about safety and security, the place will still invite interested customers.
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