If you take a walk along the Regent’s Canal at the moment, look out for sharks. Four very large sharks have appeared on the stretch of canal in Haggerston, next to the Haggerston Bridge, but worry not, for these are fibreglass sharks and won’t bite.
What did bite though is the local council, who took out a last-minute injunction against the sharks on the very day they were due to be unveiled to the public, deeming them to be a breach of planning law.
The plotline for the next Sharknado film will be the sharks vs the bureaucrats.
Four sharks now lurk in legal limbo in the canal, while the fifth member of the quintet languishes in a warehouse. For these sharks are art – and the winner of an annual Architecture Foundation prize which puts art on the canal.
Quite why the council got itself in such high dudgeon about the sharks is unclear, but the council secured a last-minute court order pausing the shark lowering efforts leaving the four stuck in the water and not doing any singing for their supper.
The idea by architect Jaimie Shorten was to have the five sharks singing and giving lectures about architecture and urbanism.
It would have been surreal, and utterly wonderful.
Councils seem to have a problem with sharks – Oxford famously took years to back down over the Headington Shark in the 1980s, and now Hackney has decided to take on the Regent’s Canal sharks.