Oxford ‘shark’ may be listed

The owner of the house with a 25 foot shark in the roof has launched a bid to preserve the sculpture after his death.

Oxford City Council is to decide whether to list the controversial fibreglass shark as a local heritage asset.

The ‘Headington Shark’ attracts thousands of tourists from across the world, but when Bill Heine installed it, he had to battle for two years with council planners to keep it. Only an appeal to then Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine in 1992 kept the shark, which was designed by artist John Buckley, in place.

Heine, who has terminal cancer, said: "Although the shark was originally greeted with suspicion, it is loved by locals who would be horrified if anything ever happened to it."

If the application is approved by councillors, it will join other heritage assets in the city such as Roger Bannister's running track in Iffley Road, where the ran the first four minute mile.

Heine added: "When the sculptor John Buckley and I put the shark in my house all that time ago we didn't think it would last for 31 hours, let alone 31 years. I'm delighted that 'time' has had an opportunity to add some sheen to the shark."

 

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