Exhibited at the entrance to the Walled-Off hotel, which Banksy opened in Bethlehem in 2017, the new work shows a small crib in front of a piece of wall pierced by a howitzer.
A few days after Christmas, Banksy's latest work was revealed in the symbolic Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the West Bank: a small crib in front of a piece of wall pierced by a howitzer.
Titled “The Scar of Bethlehem”, the work was presented on Friday and is displayed at the entrance to the Walled-Off hotel, which Banksy opened in 2017 in the city, whose rooms face the wall built by Israel to the detriment of the Palestinians. .
A part of the wall, with the words peace and love graffiti, serves as a backdrop to a crib on a small table, with gifts by its foot. The impact of the howitzer on the wall caused a star-shaped hole above Mary, Joseph and Jesus, surrounded by a cow and a donkey.
For Wissam Salsaa, the hotel's director, “The Scar of Bethlehem” symbolizes a “scar of shame”: “The wall symbolizes shame for all who support what goes on in our land, all who support the illegal occupation.” West Bank by Israel since 1967.
In 2002, the Hebrew State began the construction of a barrier, formed in some places by concrete blocks several meters high, to protect itself from incursions from the West Bank into the midst of Palestinian attacks during the Second Intifada (revolt, 2000-2009). 2005). In 2004, the International Court of Justice declared its construction illegal. Israel says the barrier continues to protect against attacks from the West Bank.
For the Palestinians, the barrier is one of the most odious symbols of the Israeli occupation and has been a source of inspiration for Banksy, who became famous for his subversive paintings in public space.
Banksy has several paintings on the wall, which has become a place of protest and political-artistic expression. The paintings that cover some parts of the barrier are also a tourist attraction.
With this work, the artist contributed “in his own way” to the Christmas festivities that will take place next week in Bethlehem, the city where Christian tradition places the birth of Jesus. Banksy "tries to spread the voice of Palestinians around the world through art and creates a new model of resistance through art," Salsaa said.