A Nativity scene by British artist Banksy has appeared at his hotel in Bethlehem.
The artwork, titled the Scar of Bethlehem and described by the artist on Instagram as a ‘modified Nativity set’, shows the baby Jesus in his manager along with Mary and Joseph in front of Israel’s controversial West Bank barrier, which appears to have been damaged by a blast, creating the shape of a star in the imposing grey concrete wall.
The piece has appeared in the Walled Off Hotel, Banksy’s property which overlooks the border wall in the divided city.
“It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way – to make people think more,” said Wissam Salsaa, hotel manager. “Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak.”
Opened two years ago, the Walled Off Hotel is billed as having ‘the worst view of any hotel in the world’ and is filled with original Banksy artwork.
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 having a pillow fight.
The artist is known for making political statements with his graffiti, and has made previous forays into the Palestinian territories.
In one secret visit, he drew a girl being pulled upwards by balloons on the dividing wall, and 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.
Picture: Banksy’s new artwork titled Scar of Bethlehem. (Banksy/PA).