Headington Shark, Oxford

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The Headington Shark. © British Tours Ltd. Panoramic photography by Jason Doll-Steinberg

The Headington Shark, a giant shark which appears to have fallen out of the sky and crashed through the roof of a terraced house in Headington outside Oxford, is something of a national curio. Now in its 25th year, the shark was the brainchild of American Bill Heine, who studied law at Balliol College in the 1960's and is now an Oxford radio presenter. It was created by sculptor John Buckley. According to Heine "The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation... It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki". The shark was not Bill's first run-in with the Planning Department at Oxford City council; a few years earlier he had applied to have a giant pair of can-can dancer's legs put up on Headington Cinema which had been renamed The Moulin Rouge.

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