If you head along a road in Oxford, where an unassuming row of brick houses stand, you might see something rather unusual… a large shark diving into the roof of one of the houses.
It has been one of Oxford’s more unusual landmarks since the 1980s, but now the Headington Shark could become a protected site, so what better time to showcase this quirky artwork as our Curiosity of the Week?
You may have heard of the shark house, and even been to see it, but why was the sculpture was created in the first place? The piece, commissioned by Bill Heine (the owner of the house at the time), was created as an artistic statement about nuclear disarmament and the sense of impotence. The shark appeared on the 41st anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.
The shark sculpture was made from fibreglass by local man John Buckley and measures over seven metres in length.
This unusual artwork has drawn plenty of attention over the years, but has been lucky to survive. In the beginning, Oxford City Council tried to get the quirky landmark removed, as it had no planning permission. After finally getting approval, the shark once again became in danger of being lost as the sculpture fell into disrepair. More recently, Heine’s son has bought the house and rescued the shark from ruin. Now, the council who once tried to get rid of the shark, may well end up saving it for future generations as it has been asked to add the building its Heritage Asset Register.
If you fancy checking out the quirky attraction, then you’ll find it at number 2 on New High Street in Oxford (OX3 7AQ).
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We are always on the lookout for interesting customs, hidden places and unique buildings to share with our readers.