Banksy's art in a new West Bank hotel features the world's 'worst view'
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A Palestinian guesthouse packed with artwork of the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy unveiled itself Friday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, with a sneak peek of what the owner sarcastically called the "hotel with the worst view in the world."
Wisam Salsaa, 42, said the nine-room establishment named "The Walled Off Hotel" will officially open March 11, but he offered a handful of reporters a tour of the hotel looking directly at the West Bank separation barrier erected by Israel to ward off potential Palestinian attackers. The barrier, which Palestinians consider to be a land grab that stifles their movement, is heavily decorated by artists, and Banksy has previously painted several murals on a walled segment of it.
The hotel, several of whose rooms look onto an Israeli security watchtower, is awash in the trademark satirical work of the mysterious artist. The highlight is Room 3, known as "Banksy's Room," where guests sleep in a king-size bed underneath Banksy's artwork showing a Palestinian and an Israeli in a pillow fight.
The hotel also features a presidential suite and a museum with the artist's politically charged work. It has the markings of a gentleman's club from the English colonial period. The entrance to one small niche accommodates a life-size figure of Arthur James Balfour signing his 1917 letter that came to be known as the Balfour declaration and was the basis for the international push for the creation of Israel.
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