Earlier this week, a house with a 25-foot shark sticking out of its roof is being listed by a city council that had originally wanted it to be demolished. City councilors of the city of Oxford initially couldn’t stand the roof with a gigantic monster fish attached into it by its original owner Bill Heine back in August of 1986. They had even refused it retrospective planning permission. But then the secretary of state for the environment came out in favor of the shark, and the house, and its peculiar roof, was saved.
An application for the house with the fiber glass shark in its roof to be listed on the Oxford Heritage Asset Register will be decided by the city council next year. If it is approved, it would then be made to be listed as a English Heritage. The previous owner of the house, Mr. Heine, is now 72 years old and lives in Waterstock, where he is being treated for Leukemia. He has welcomed the campaign to get the shark house listed. The shark coming through the roof was originally sculpted by artist John Buckley as a protest against the American bombing of Libya. To this day, the shark in the roof still draws tourists.
“I was shocked to find out that the shark had not been listed to protect it.” said councilor Local Ruth Wilkinson. Mike Rafcliffe, the Chairman of Headington Neighborhood Forum, said that the shark and the roof were appropriate candidates for listed status. He also added that “The shark, embedded in its rooftop, continues to intrude, to surprise and to fascinate. People stop to look and it has a presence on Trip Advisor and has an international reputation.”