Headington Shark, Oxford
One Morning Bill Heine, local radio presenter, erected a shark on his roof, appearing to have fallen head first into it.
He stated that it was his stance against nuclear proliferation & war - being erected on the 41st anniversary of the first bomb. The local council tried to have it removed as unsafe, but their investigations showed it was very safely fixed there. They objected that he had no planning permission, & offered to install the shark at a "more appropriate place" such as a swimming pool for him "free of charge".
Bill Heine went over their heads to national government. The Home Secretary finally stepped in. He appreciated that the shark was not meant to be contextual with its surroundings, and gave permission for it to remain, free from the objections of local government.
Since when, there has remained a shark in Headington. I kid you not!
Somewhat annoyingly, I was looking for this piece of art, but got a bit lost, so I have yet to describe it from the flesh, as it were.
The story of the shark and the battle for it's retention against the combined forced of Oxford's planning department is a good read. The owner also did battle with the same foe over a giant pair of can-can dancers legs which he erected outside the local cimema which he also bought.
I especially like this quote from Bernard Leven, one of my favourite writers about the shark in question :
In 1992 He wrote in The Times about the Shark, describing it as a "splendid lark" :
There is nothing about smiling in the analects of the planning committee of the Oxford city council, and that august body ruled that it must come down, giving as the reason that it had been put up without planning permission, or more likely just because it was delightful, innocent, fresh and amusing — all qualities abhorred by such committees.
The shark house in Headington. This house has a giant fiberglass shark in its roof. Rumor has it that it was originally a pair of women's legs, but people complained. I think an artist lives here....so cool to walk by everyday.