Banksy has always been sensitive to injustice. In 2017, following his mission to draw the attention of the public on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, Banksy opened the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, in front of the separation wall. The hotel features ten rooms with a view on the controversial barrier separating Israel and the Palestinian territory. The hotel provocatively prides itself on “the worst view of any hotel in the world”. It is a proper business venture: it invites tourists and jobs into a city whose economy has been heavily damaged by the increasingly rigid controls on movement between Israel and Palestine.
The hotel features tens of Banksy’s works, a themed bar, interactive installations and an exhibition space reserved for temporary exhibitions by Palestinian emerging artists. There is also a museum fully dedicated to the wall, including, among other things, an animated story of the region. Obviously there is also a shop for graffiti artists called Wall-Mart, providing all the materials for those who want to paint on the wall in front of the hotel.
The aim is to attract more people into a city whose tourism and econoy have been heavily damaged by the checkpoints and the strict rules.