The shark on a rooftop discussion
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The shark on a rooftop
The Headington Shark is a sculpture situated at 2 New High Street, Headington, Oxford, England, depicting a shark embedded head-first in the roof of the house. The shark first appeared on August 9, 1986. Bill Heine, a local radio presenter who still owns the house, has said "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 desperationů It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki."
The sculpture, which weighs 203 kilograms, is 25 feet long, and is made of painted fibreglass, is named Untitled 1986 (written on the gate of the house). The sculpture was erected on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
Created by sculptor John Buckley, the shark was controversial when it first appeared. Oxford City Council tried to have it taken down on grounds of safety, and then on the grounds that it had not given planning permission for the shark, but there was much local support for the shark. Eventually the matter was taken to the central government, where the Department for the Environment assessed the case on planning grounds, and ruled that the shark would be allowed to remain as it did not result in harm to the visual amenity.