Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Headington Shark
The enormous fibre glass shark, created by sculptor John Buckley, was erected on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in August 1986, designed to express the anger, desperation and impotence of ordinary people in the face of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. It created a storm.
Oxford city council tried to get it taken down on the grounds that it was unsafe. Unfortunately for them, structural engineers gave it the all clear. They then tried to get rid of it on the grounds that it didn’t have planning consent but the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, came out in its favour as a work of art, albeit unconventional. And so it remained.