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Following on from King Alfreds severed arm
welcome... it adds to this what is vandalism? When its ancient its interesting and throws a new light on past cultures, if its modern.. its wrong...

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Unless you're one of the small minority of lunatics who sees as much relevance in 20th century AD urban landscapes as the 20th century BC. The best site I ever worked on was being decommissioned as a working factory as I was recording it. Unfortunately we didn't record the graffiti, except where they were caught by accident on the standard site photos.
I do disagree with calling the shark in Headington pointless. Most Headington people are quite affectionate about it. Local campaigns have saved it from an over zealous council several times. Its point is a protest about nuclear war, as your link explained. It doesn't really spoil the skyline, as you can only see it in one terraced street. To those who don't know Oxford, your post seems to imply that a shark is competing with the dreaming spires.

In its original context, it was opposite a massive pair of stockinged legs dancing the can can, on the front of a theater called "Not The Moulin Rouge" These two together were much more imaginative than bland corporate art. The theater has now been replaced with bland 'executive apartments'. Big up diversity and local distinctivess, I say.
Hi Oxbeast,

your post highlights what this thread is about, what is vandalism? It's an emotive and subjective topic, for you the Headington Shark is an anti-war statement; for me a pointless irrelevance that pollutes and vandalises the skyline. Similar disagreements will probably follow from other forum members about the graffiti archaeology project (link supplied above by the boss). I see that as an attempt to document contemporary street art in an archaeological context, others may see it as nothing more than a slideshow of vandalised walls.
for those beyond the charmed circle of Oxford suburbs, here is the piece in question:

the fundamental issue about this is that Bill Heine chose to do it to his own house - vandalism is doing physical harm to someone else's property.

On the subject of a catalogue of vandalism of "cultural icons" the Peter Pan statue in Kensigton Gardens frequently loses its musical instrument - however I saw its doppelganger in the conservation labs in Liverpool a few years ago (there were two statues cast, the other one adorns a Liverpool park) and there had been some serious efforts made to saw off bits of it - rabbits heads and bits of squirrel from the base, removal of which required sawing through two or three inches of solid bronze.

On the street art, grafitti, I remember years ago thinking someone should document the gable end mural in Northern Ireland as they are representative of the troubles that afflicted the province and should provide a basis for "hot" interpretation for visitors and locals alike. I think it has been done to some extent now.

Bill Heine also chose to completely ignore the planning process or any consultation with his neighbours. Vandalism could also be defined as altering the built environment to the detriment of others regardless of who owns the environment being altered.

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