London's World Travel Market – which ran from 5-11 November – was completed today. That means it was your last chance to check out Banksy's latest piece of art. In an entry on his Instagram, the artist encouraged his fans to come forward.
"We will be at the Palestinian place giving away free things, the World Travel Fair, the London Excel Center 6th and 7th November. Free to sign up for online today and pretending to be a travel agent."
World Travel Market is generally present by professional travel industry, so finding a world famous artist hanging there is not exactly a common occurrence. Banksy offered some free swag and revealed his newest piece of art – a replica separation barrier – refers Banksys ties to the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.
The artwork contains two cherubs, intended to designate Israel and Palestine and uses a graffiti replica of the separation barrier as its canvas. If new Banksy stunts are any indications, it will probably be worth millions. The latest work has all the characteristics of a classic Banksy – it's ugly, witty and multilayered. To pay attention to the conflict without putting the viewer on the head with sentimentality.
There is a lot of history to pack up here. The dike wall between the West Bank and Israel has been a canvas for some of the artist's most iconic works.
Banksy is also involved in The Walled Off Hotel, an actual hotel property that currently accepts reservations that he financed and partially designed. The property is just steps away from the wall that divides Israel from the Palestinian West Bank. Each walled off window (a heavy-in-kind play on Waldorf, classic Banksy wit) faces the separation barrier. But despite its cloudy views, it has managed to attract tourists to Palestine. The hotel is also home to a museum, a graffiti gift shop and the largest art gallery in Palestine.
The point is: Banksy has long encountered Palestinian travel and he knows that the West Bank infusion with tourist money is an easy way to help. To do that, he seems too happy to lean on his own celebrity. Although it was one of the smallest of the events, the Palestinian Cabin on the World Travel Market has packed hundreds of people waiting in line to get a glimpse of the artist or his work. This is clearly the intended effect and a great profit for all who hope to support the people living in the Palestinian Territories.