The British government’s response to one man’s shark sculpture really bites. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
The Headington Shark is a rooftop sculpture in Oxford, England, that looks like a 25-foot-long shark embedded headfirst in the roof of a house, Sharknado-style. The homeowner spent five years fighting the local zoning board to keep it, and now, 35 years later, is in a new fight with government officials, who want to designate it as a national landmark, which sounds like a huge victory for the homeowner, but is actually a pain in the gills.
In the US, “Landmark Status” refers to a building or plot of land that’s designated by the government as having some sort of historic, artistic, or aesthetic value and must be preserved. If that happens, the government can prohibit the owner from doing desired construction projects or even take ownership of it, which often ends in court, causing a homeowner to hire himself a shark.