Banksy unveils 'Scar of Bethlehem' nativity scene ahead of Christmas

The instillation appeared in his Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem on Saturday

A view shows Banksy's the Walled Off hotel and a section of the Israeli barrier in Bethlehem, October 23, 2018. (photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)
A view shows Banksy's the Walled Off hotel and a section of the Israeli barrier in Bethlehem, October 23, 2018.
(photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)
Underground artist Banksy has unveiled a new instillation in Bethlehem, just in time for Christmas.
Titled 'Scar of Bethlehem,' the artwork features a traditional nativity scene, backlit through a concrete slab which has been blasted through seemingly by a mortar shell, creating a Christmas-star shaped hole. Three large wrapped presents sit at the forefront of the scene, while the words 'peace' and 'love' are graffiti tagged in English and French on the concrete, AFP has reported.
The instillation appeared on Saturday at Banksy's Walled Off Hotel in which all the rooms face the concrete barrier separating the West Bank from Israeli territory.
"It is a nativity," the hotel's manager Wissam Salsaa told AFP. "Banksy has his own contribution to Christmas."
"It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way -- to make people think more" about how Palestinians live in Bethlehem, she added.
The scene is the latest in a string of events unveiled by Banksy in the West Bank. Other than the hotel, which opened two years ago, he has also spray-stencilled artworks on the fence-line itself, including a ladder on the wall, a girl being carried away by baloons, and a window opening onto a mountain range scene.
He has also bestowed his art on Bethlehem before, spray-painting a scene of a little girl frisking an IDF soldier in the town in 2007.
Palestinians have labelled the barrier, which was first constructed during the intifada of 2002, an apartheid wall, but the Israeli authorities have said it is necessary to prevent further attacks.
"Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak," Salsaa told AFP. He "is creating a new model of resistance through art."