One of the most iconic pieces in the Walled Off Hotel collection, David engulfed by a cloud of teargas, has been replaced by a statue of Shakespeare with a Hamlet twist. Whether David has been sold or taken away for restoration is unclear. The Shakespeare statue has reportedly stood in the WOH offices for some time. The pictures were published on 25 March on Facebook by Walled Off Hotel visitor Jesse Zuefle.
Above, the Shakespeare statue, photos by Jesse Zuefle. Below, David in a cloud of teargas
There seem to be some novelties on the ground floor. The section with CCTV cameras has moved to the left of the reception, where the “Mediterranean Seaview” triptych hung before it was donated to charity. Another new piece is the wood-carved model of Jerusalem’s Old Town made by the late Tawfiq Salsaa. The model was on display at Santas Ghetto in 2007 and also at Banksy vs Bristol Museum in 2009.
Pictures of the new piece were posted on 1 February on several independent Instagram accounts.
Photos: @francas on Instagram
Walled Off Hotel opened almost two years ago in Bethlehem, only six kilometres south of downtown Jerusalem, but on the other side of the wall. The Hotel is a piece of art in itself and, at the same time, a huge political statement, all mixed with Banksy’s usual charm and wit. A visit is highly recommendable. See the previous post: The Walled Off Hotel. Palestine, March 2017.
In Banksy’s own words, as announced 3 November on Instagram:
“Opening my first ever stall at a trade fair next week. 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 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.”
A few days later, a new poster was announced. In Banksy’s own words:
“Free Palestine poster.Be advised we only have 1000 posters to hand out each day at the tourist fair. You can download one from the website at http://www.banksy.co.uk “
The “we” pronoun in Banksy’s Instagram text was represented by Walled Off Hotel manager Wisam Salsaa handing out the posters personally.
Today’s Financial Times extensively features Banksy and his relationship with Palestine. The interview is done via e-mail by Jan Dalley, the FT’s arts editor. Comes with a new Banksy drawing of the three wise men. You can read the interview here: Banksy goes to Bethlehem
The documentary about the performance will be screened on BBC Two on Sunday, 17 December at 9 PM, and is said to follow Boyle overcoming the “many restrictions” to find a cast, crew and local children and put together the show in six weeks. The performance took place on 3 December and was co-directed by Bethlehem-based Riham Isaac.
Banksy created a promotional image for the documentary showing a drone watching over the nativity scene. (Source: BBC)
British artist James Ame, a.k.a Ame72, was caught in a photo in early December by a British tourist outside the Milk Grotto chapel in Bethlehem in front of a recently confirmed artwork by Banksy. Mr Ame is holding a spray can and part of a stencil which seems to fit with the star in the artwork.
James Ame participated in an exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides in Herzliya Marina in Tel Aviv in March 2017. Banksy opened his Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, just 80 km from Tel Aviv, in March 2017. Steve Lazarides is Banksy’s former agent. According to James Ame’s website – http://www.ame72.com – he also participated in The Cans Festival in London, the collective street art exhibition organized by Banksy in May 2008. A publicity stunt by Steve L, or is James Ame a member of the Banksy street art crew?
On 3 December, there were two street art pieces unveiled. The first depicts two angels trying to open the Segregation Wall with a crowbar. Supposedly it was painted some days ago but hidden from the public eye with a banner. The second one is a text-based stencil with a sharp message in the centre of Bethlehem.