The Walled Off Hotel

The Walled Off Hotel is a boutique hotel designed by anonymous London-based artist Banksy alongside other creatives and notable academic Dr.Gavin Grindon. It is located in Bethlehem, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Ben Gurion Airport. Established in March 2017, and initially set out to only be a temporary exhibition, the hotel has since attracted nearly 140,000 visitors,[1] thanks in part to its location opposite to the portion of the Israeli West Bank Barrier separating Bethlehem from the holy site of Rachel's Tomb.[2] The hotel is considered to be a key piece of social commentary on the Palestinians affected by the Israeli-Palestine Conflict and billed as having "the worst view of any hotel in the world".[3]

The Walled Off Hotel
The walled off hotel outlook.jpg
The building's exterior in 2017
General information
TypeBoutique hotel
Location182 Caritas Street
Bethlehem, Palestine
Coordinates31°43′09″N 35°12′12″E / 31.7193°N 35.2033°E / 31.7193; 35.2033Coordinates: 31°43′09″N 35°12′12″E / 31.7193°N 35.2033°E / 31.7193; 35.2033
OpenedMarch 3, 2017 (2017-03-03)
Website
walledoffhotel.com

HistoryEdit

Established on 3 March 2017, the hotel is generally considered to be a follow-up to Banksy's 2015 Dismaland project, held for five weeks in Weston-Super-Mare in the South-West of England, making a commentary on life in coastal towns in 21st-century Britain.[citation needed]

Critical receptionEdit

The reaction to the hotel as a work of art and social intervention has been mixed, especially given its location and subject matter. Critics have argued that such a building profits off tragedy, and is a case of war tourism.[4] Nonetheless, evidence has suggested that the hotel has brought more tourism to areas of the West Bank, in turn raising awareness of the realities of the Palestinians affected by the conflict.[5]

Critics have described some art works as antisemitic and have denounced the Holocaust imagery in several displays: "including a scale whereby one Jewish tooth outweighs hundreds of Palestinian teeth; a glass case containing clothing and shoes of Palestinian children. The painting of Jesus Christ with a sniper’s red dot sight on his head is perceived by critics as an antisemitic libel of Jewish deicide.[6]

The Israeli art collector Batia Ofer, denounced the poster with the slogan "Visit historic Palestine. The Israeli army liked it so much they never left", claiming that it implied Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.”[7][8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Fisher, Ian (16 April 2017). "Banksy Hotel in the West Bank: Small, but Plenty of Wall Space". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  2. ^ Worrall, Simon (December 3, 2017). "The Little Town of Bethlehem Has a Surprising History". National Geographic. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  3. ^ https://www.sky.com/story/amp/banksy-nativity-appears-at-his-walled-off-hotel-in-bethlehem-11892985[dead link]
  4. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (7 September 2017). "'Worst view in the world': Banksy opens hotel overlooking Bethlehem wall". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  5. ^ Cook, Johnathan (22 December 2018). "Inside Banksy's The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem". The National. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Art at Banksy's Bethlehem Hotel gives lie to media claim he merely seeks 'dialogue'". 7 March 2017.
  7. ^ https://www.news.artnet.com/v/s/news.artnet.com/art-world/banksy-accused-of-antisemitism-1393591/
  8. ^ "Banksy's latest pro-Palestine stunt sparks spat with top Israeli art collector". Haaretz.

External linksEdit