Friday, December 26, 2008

Taking a 'Banksy Tour' in Bethlehem

By Michael Scott Moore in Jerusalem
Der Spiegel

"Paintings by the West's favorite graffiti artist, Banksy, are part of everyday life for Palestinians around Bethlehem. Some images have been erased, others protected -- but some inspire an odd local lore.

In the West Bank, Israel's security barrier has started to resemble the western side of the Berlin Wall. The Israeli side is bleak and clean, but on the Palestinian side graffiti can flourish. I knew the British painter Banksy had tagged the wall a few years ago, but I had no idea where his stencils were. At first I didn't care -- I was just here to see Bethlehem -- but my taxi passed a stencil I had seen in news reports, a dove wearing a bulletproof vest. So I snapped a picture.

My driver got excited. "You like Banksy?" he said. "You want a tour? I can show you all the pictures."......"

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