Banksy's art opens in hotel with the worst view

The lounge is decorated with CCTV cameras, there's no pool, and the Presidential Suite boasts "the worst view of any hotel in the world" - but if that sounds like your dream holiday, Banksy is your man. The hotel is the largest new body of work Banksy has completed in years, he says.

The 10-room, fully functioning guesthouse is located in Bethlehem, in a neighbourhood the artist's website describes as "bustling".

A view of the wall from inside one of the hotel's rooms.

Of course, Banksy is making a political statement.

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Although Israelis are officially banned by Tel Aviv from entering the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in the West Bank, the hotel, which opened on Friday, is situated in an area just outside the city which is under Israeli control. Inside, Banksy's trademark style permeates ever corner of the space.

The Walled Off Hotel sits just steps from the Israeli security wall.

But the decor has been spiced up with statues choking on tear gas, cherubs hanging from the ceiling, their faces covered by oxygen masks and oil paintings of refugee life jackets washed ashore. A plastic chimpanzee bellboy guards the entrance.

The whole project took 14 months to complete and was kept under complete secrecy, in accordance with Banksy's request to protect his anonymity. It is not aligned to any political movement or pressure group.

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Clocks on the wall in the bar area tell the time around the world. They included a ladder reaching over the wall, a young girl being carried over it by balloons and a window on the gray concrete showing handsome mountains in the background.In 2007, he painted a number of artworks in Bethlehem, including a young girl frisking an Israeli soldier pinned up against a wall. There's also this caveat: "Absolutely no fanaticism is permitted on the premises".

"The artwork here has been donated to the community and their struggle", the artist says online, "and any person found attempting to steal from them, or deface hotel property, will be arrested, transported to the police station in Ramallah and prosecuted to the full extent of local law". You will, however, be forced to put down a $1,000 deposit up front, to ensure that the valuable artworks are not stolen or vandalized.

It's hard to argue with the price, though, with budget bunk beds set to go for under $37 a night.

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