In what may be seen as art imitating life, Banksy, who is billed as an elusive British street artist, has created a nativity scene that features a bullet hole as a star.
Dubbed the “Scar of Bethlehem,” the scene shows baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph, as one might expect in any Christmas display.
Set against a barrier, the typical nativity scene is topped off with what appears to be a bullet hole, with the blast pattern resembling the classic Christmas star. And make no mistake, there is a clear political message intended.
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While some would be quick to think the message centers on gun violence, that is not exactly the case.
The modified nativity scene has appeared at Bethlehem’s Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank, which is a “collaboration” between the hotel owner and the artist, according to the BBC.
The name is a play on the name Waldorf, as in Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel, and the rooms all feature artwork by Banksy critical of Israel’s occupation.
The wall behind Baby Jesus reflected Israel’s separation barrier — all the hotel’s rooms overlook the barrier. The words “love” and “peace” are shown as graffiti on the barrier in English and French.
“Israel says the barrier is needed to prevent terror attacks,” BBC noted. “Palestinians say it is a device to grab land. The International Court of Justice has called it illegal.”
Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa said Banksy’s nativity scene is intended to show how Palestinians in the West Bank were living.
“It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way – to make people think more,” he told the British network.
“Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak,” Salsaa added.
Needless to say, the left absolutely loves Banksy and his manger, as seen on Twitter:
Resistance through art.
— Nina Rossi (@Nina_dRossi) December 23, 2019
Banksy nails it.
The Scar of Bethlehem symbolises all that is wrong with apartheid Israel. https://t.co/RkNeGVh5PQ
— Suzy S (@PalestinePR) December 21, 2019
Whoa. New Banksy piece…
called the Scar of Bethlehem. Jesus is among the suffering. And near to all those who are left out with no room in the inn and locked out by walls of hostility. pic.twitter.com/ut3DW6sZMp
— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) December 21, 2019
He’s done artwork in #Gaza on bombed out homes & buildings. Risked being shot by IOF in watchtowers graffitiing the apartheid wall.
— Gareth Davey ????????? (@Davey1969Davey) December 22, 2019
Banksy is the best ❤️
He actually has political meaning/messages in his work, which is a rarity in the modern art world #Banksy
— Jay Nelson ⏳ (@StoneSculptorJN) December 22, 2019
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