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Banksy opens the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem featuring ‘worst view in the world’

New Banksy Hotel opens in West Bank surrounded by Israeli-built wall
WATCH: Street artist Banksy opened The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — 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 on Mar. 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.

A statue of a chimpanzee bell-boy stands at the entrance of the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
A statue of a chimpanzee bell-boy stands at the entrance of the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
A visitor takes pictures for graffiti work painted by street artist Banksy showing an Israeli soldier and masked Palestinian youth having a pillow fight, in the Walled Off hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
A visitor takes pictures for graffiti work painted by street artist Banksy showing an Israeli soldier and masked Palestinian youth having a pillow fight, in the Walled Off hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
A visitor takes pictures at the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
A visitor takes pictures at the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
The presidential suite is seen in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
The presidential suite is seen in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
A waitress stands in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
A waitress stands in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
Works by street artist Banksy are displayed in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Works by street artist Banksy are displayed in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
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A waiter stands in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
A waiter stands in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
A section of the Israeli barrier is seen through the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
A section of the Israeli barrier is seen through the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad
The presidential suite is seen in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
The presidential suite is seen in the Walled Off hotel, which was opened by street artist Banksy, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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 number three, 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.

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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.

READ MORE: Banksy leaves mural for British school kids; janitor nearly removes it

The cheapest rooms were available from $30 a night.

The whole project took 14 months to complete and was kept under complete secrecy, in accordance with Banksy’s request to protect his anonymity. Salsaa said the entire interior was personally overseen by Banksy, to the very last details. The hotel is the largest new body of work in years, according to a press release distributed by representatives who attended Friday’s tour.

Banksy has made previous forays into the Palestinian territories. In one secret visit, he drew a painting of a girl pulled upward by balloons on the barrier facing his current project.

READ MORE: How math is being used to hunt for Banksy, the elusive street artist

Last year, he is believed to have sneaked into Gaza to draw four street murals, including one on a metal door that depicted the Greek goddess Niobe cowering against the rubble of a destroyed house. The painting, titled “Bomb Damage,” was drawn on the last remaining part of a two-story house that was destroyed in the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

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The artist’s satirical stencils — rats, kissing policemen, riot police with yellow smiley faces — first appeared on walls in Bristol before spreading to London and then around the world. His artwork comments on war, child poverty and the environment. His identity remains a mystery, but his works have fetched as much as $1.8 million at auctions.