Banksy is getting into the hotel business. Today, the world got its first glimpse of the latest from the British street art great: the so-called Walled Off Hotel (giddit?), a fully functional art hotel in Bethlehem, on the West Bank in Palestine, in the shadow of Israel’s West Bank Separation Wall.
The hotel will employ 45 people, highlight Palestinian artists, and features a variety of artistic decor by Banksy. “Dormitory-style” accommodations, modeled after military barracks, will set you back somewhere in the region of $30 to $35, though there are luxury suites that apparently cost much more.
True to Banksy’s guerrilla-art roots, the Walled Off Hotel comes as a surprise. “The hotel was built in complete secrecy over a 14-month period, surprising even Palestinian officials when its doors suddenly flew open on Friday,” the Telegraph reports.
The project’s website also lists some impressive musical acts as being on tap to support the initiative. Saturday’s opening party—which is advertised as “invite and locals only”—claims to feature a concert by Sir Elton John and Palestinian pianist Ramzi Shomali.
On March 13, the hotel advertises a street party with Fatboy Slim, who previously did a “surprise” gig at Banksy’s Dismaland project.
The hotel also boasts player piano tunes from a variety of pop stars, including, currently, Massive Attack frontman 3D (sure to fuel conspiracy theories that 3D is actually the secret identity of Banksy).
Banksy is known as a prankster, so take all these claims with a grain of salt. Reporting from the preview, the news website Al-Monitor said that a spokeswoman for the Walled Off Hotel said that John would play a “live show,” but added that she “would not clarify if he would be present or perform via videolink.”