Anonymous British street artist Banksy announced his latest art project last Friday, a hotel in the West Bank called the Walled Off Hotel. Located in Bethlehem, it's a fully-functioning hotel featuring a museum, gallery, and a "colonial outpost"-themed player piano bar serving food and drink. The bar features a mechanical baby grand piano that will play automated recitals each night by artists including 3D of Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor, and film composer Hans Zimmer.
The Walled Off Hotel will officially open this Saturday, March 11, and is located in close proximity to both the Israeli Checkpoint 300 and the Aida Palestinian refugee camp. It looks out onto Israel's West Bank barrier wall, which is considered by some to be an instrument of apartheid, and by others to be a safety measure. On its website, a representative for the project says that it is "not aligned to any political movement or pressure group," and that it aims "to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves."
2017 is the centennial anniversary of when the British took colonial rule over Palestine, and this history is directly referenced in the design of the aforementioned "colonial outpost"-themed bar, which also features original Banksy artworks.
Dr. Gavin Grindon from Essex University helped curate the museum, which is dedicated to presenting a biography of the wall featuring film, testimonies, and local artifacts. The gallery features work by noteworthy Palestinian artists including Sliman Mansou and is curated by the critic and historian Dr. Housni Alkhateeb Shehada.
Follow Alexander on Twitter.