Yes - it's a shark in the roof.

This is The Headington Shark in Oxford, officially its title is untitled 1986, named after the year it was installed. Well of course the battle with the planning authorities lasted for years but in the end the shark was allowed to stay. I couldn't be happier.


The story is a fascinating one and well-told on this site. I strongly suggest you have a read of it, but for the time being enjoy this quote from a 1992 article about the shark in The Times:


There is nothing about smiling in the analects of the planning committee of the Oxford city council, and that august body ruled that it must come down, giving as the reason that it had been put up without planning permission, or more likely just because it was delightful, innocent, fresh and amusing — all qualities abhorred by such committees.

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Taken on May 11, 2006