Banksy commemorates​ the Balfour declaration. 2 November 2017.

The Balfour Declaration was signed on 2 November 1917 by the British government announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. It read:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Banksy commemorated the Balfour declaration with an apology on the segregation wall a few meters from his Walled Off Hotel, and a small ceremony with a Queen Elizabeth impersonator.

Banksy Balfour 4.jpeg

An official statement from Banksy read:

“This conflict has brought so much suffering to people on all sides – it didn’t feel appropriate to ‘celebrate’ the British role.  The British didn’t handle things well here. When you organise a wedding,” referring to the promise of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine, “it’s best to make sure the bride isn’t already married.”

Inside the Walled Off  Hotel, there is a truly brilliant and interesting museum on the situation created by the Balfour declaration, curated by the Banksy team together with Dr Gavin Grindon from Essex University.

Gift shop opened at Walled Off Hotel. 7 September​ 2017.

Banksy published two new pieces on Instagram today together with the following announcement:

“Opened a gift shop today – situated at the back of the Walled Off Hotel. Not to be confused with the “Banksy shop” next door – which has nothing to do with me at all. Hand painted mini souvenir separation walls now available. http://www.walledoffhotel.com

The description of the piece to the right goes like this:

“Military grade grappling hook and combination spiritual ornament. All proceeds stay in the local community.”

The Walled Off Hotel. Palestine, March 2017.

The Walled Off Hotel is the latest big exhibition by Banksy with more than 20 new originals. The hotel is a joint venture between the Banksy team and a local Palestinian entrepreneur with a background in the London art world. The Walled Off Hotel mixes art, politics,  and tourism in a very effective way. On the ground floor, there are 15 new Banksys and a museum commemorating  “a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a Century of confusion and conflict.” On the upper level,  there’s an exhibition hall with local Palestinian artists, among them Suleyman Mansour. The hotel in itself is a piece of political art in every aspect.

 

Photos: R.A.