Banksy 'nativity' appears at his Bethlehem hotel
A nativity scene by the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy has been unveiled at his hotel in Bethlehem.
Titled the Scar of Bethlehem, the artwork shows the baby Jesus in a manger along with Mary and Joseph, but the backdrop is Israel’s controversial West Bank barrier with a shell hole in it, forming the shape of a star.
The structure, which Israel says is vital to prevent attacks, has been ruled illegal by the UN’s International Court of Justice.
Banksy’s latest work, which he has described on Instagram as a “modified nativity”, appeared at the Walled Off Hotel he opened two years ago.
The guesthouse, billed as having “the worst view of any hotel in the world”, overlooks the wall in the divided city and is filled with Banksy’s politically charged work.
The highlight is room number three, known as “Banksy’s Room”, where guests sleep in a king-size bed under a piece showing a Palestinian and an Israeli having a pillow fight.
Banksy has previously painted murals on the barrier itself, including a soldier checking a donkey’s identity documents and a dove wearing a flak jacket.
He has also created artworks in Gaza, including one on a metal door that depicted the grieving Greek goddess Niobe cowering against the rubble of a house destroyed during fighting between Israel and Hamas militants.