Banksy Unveils 'Scar of Bethlehem' Nativity Scene in West Bank Hotel

The nativity scene on display at the street artist's hotel in Bethlehem shows Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in front of the separation barrier

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Haaretz
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An artwork dubbed 'Scar of Bethlehem' by street artist Banksy is displayed in the Walled Off hotel, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, December 22, 2019.
An artwork dubbed 'Scar of Bethlehem' by street artist Banksy is displayed in the Walled Off hotel, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, December 22, 2019. Credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP
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Haaretz

A new Banksy work entitled "Scar of Bethlehem" appeared at the British street artist's Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank on Saturday.

In an Instagram post Banksy wrote the "Scar of Bethlehem. A modified nativity set." The nativity scene shows Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in front of the separation barrier which appears to have been damaged by an explosion.  On the wall, "peace" and "love" are spray-painted in English and French.

Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa called the work a "nativity scene," telling AFP that "Banksy has his own contribution to Christmas."

Banksy's Walled-Off Hotel facing the separation wall in Bethlehem, December 20, 2019.
Banksy's Walled-Off Hotel facing the separation wall in Bethlehem, December 20, 2019.Credit: AFP

"It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way -- to make people think more" of how Palestinians live in Bethlehem, Salsaa says. 

According to Salsaa, the work is a "scar" that should induce "shame in anyone who supported" its construction.

Walled Off Hotel opened its doors across from the separation barrier just outside Bethlehem in 2017, offering "the worst view in the world." The hotel also contains a small museum on the history of the separation barrier.

Wisam Salsa, general manager of the Walled Off hotel, shows 'Scar of Bethlehem' artwork by street artist Banksy, in Bethlehem, December 22, 2019.
Wisam Salsa, general manager of the Walled Off hotel, shows 'Scar of Bethlehem' artwork by street artist Banksy, in Bethlehem, December 22, 2019.Credit: MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA/Reuters

Banksy, a longtime critic of the occupation, has in the past drawn works on the separation barrier.

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