Headington Shark

Coordinates: 51°45′32″N 1°12′48″W / 51.75882°N 1.213238°W / 51.75882; -1.213238
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Untitled 1986
The Headington Shark in 2007, before it was renovated
ArtistJohn Buckley
MediumPainted fibreglass
Dimensions7.6 m (25 ft)
LocationHeadington, Oxford

The Headington Shark is a sculpture on the top of a house. It is at 2 New High Street, Headington, Oxford. The sculpture is a shark breaking the roof of the house. Its proper name is Untitled 1986.

About the sculpture[change | change source]

The shark was first put on the house on 9 August 1986. The house is owned by a radio presenter, Bill Heine.[1] The sculpture is 4 long hundredweight and 25 feet long. It is made of painted fibreglass.[2] It took 3 months to make the shark.[3]

The statue was put together on the 41st anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.[4] It was designed by John Buckley. Anton Castiau made the sculpture.[5] Heine said that the shark is "saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki".[4]

On August 2007, the shark was renovated by Buckley.[1] This was because of complaints of the quality of the sculpture.[6]

On 26 August 2016, Heine's son Magnus Hanson-Heine bought the house. He bought it so that the shark can stay on top of the house.[7]

Controversy[change | change source]

The shark started controversy when it was first put on the house. Oxford City Council wanted the shark removed from the house because it was not safe for the people living near.[2] There were no planning permissions for the shark.[1] In 1992, Minister Tony Baldry from the Department of the Environment said that the shark can stay on the house because it does not cause any problems.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Shark comes of age". Oxford Mail. 8 August 2007. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Headington Shark". Unofficial Headington Website. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  3. Mohdin, Aamna (7 April 2019). "'It went in beautifully as the postman was passing': the story of the Headington Shark". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "In praise of... the Headington shark". The Guardian. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  5. "Renowned local figure responsible for Headington Shark dies". Yahoo! News. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  6. "Shabby shark house angers residents". Oxford Times. 12 December 2003. Archived from the original on 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  7. "Why I snapped up the Headington shark house". The Guardian. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]

51°45′32″N 1°12′48″W / 51.75882°N 1.213238°W / 51.75882; -1.213238