The elusive underground artist will be promoting his hotel in Bethlehem to the travel trade with a new artwork.
Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel, an offbeat boutique hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine, which opened 18 months ago, will be promoted at this week’s World Travel Market London.
And especially for the event, the elusive underground Bristol-based artist has apparently created a piece of art modelled on the separation barrier between Palestine and Israel, according to the artist’s Instagram account.
Banksy, fresh from controversially shredding one of his prints last month after it was sold at Sotheby’s, says he will be displaying a replica separation barrier at WTM.
“Opening my first ever stall at a trade fair next week,” he writes in the Instagram post. “I’ve painted a replica separation barrier to promote the Walled Off hotel, ironically the neighbours have complained it’s too tall. We’ll be at the Palestine stand giving away free stuff, World Travel Fair, London Excel centre 6th and 7th November. Free to get in if you register online today and pretend to be a travel agent.”
“Worst” hotel views
When Banksy opened the Walled Off Hotel in March last year, he said it had “the worst view of any hotel in the world, thanks to its location overlooking the 400-mile wall that cuts through the West Bank and divides Israel and Palestine”.
World Travel Market takes place this week from November 5 to 7, billed as the biggest event for travel trade professionals in the world with around 50,000 people visiting, who are expected to do £3.1 billion (€3.54 billion) in business deals.
“The fact that an artist of Bansky’s standing is using World Travel Market London to promote the Walled Off Hotel illustrates just how big a draw the event is for the global travel industry,” Paul Nelson of WTM London comments.
“Like everyone else, we are in the dark about exactly what he has planned. But we are as excited as anyone to find out.”