King Neptune: A Local Icon
The moment the King Neptune statue was constructed at the Virginia Beach oceanfront it quickly became the emblem of the resort city. The statue is a prime photo-op spot and must see for any tourist. Located along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the King Neptune statue by sculptor Paul DiPasquale stands mightily at Neptune Park near the Hilton Hotel at 31st Street.
A Brief History of the King Neptune Statue
The statue was dedicated to the City of Virginia Beach on September 30, 2005. The ceremony was held during the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend. It now proudly graces the boardwalk at 31st street, overlooking Neptune’s Park, a favorite event site in Virginia Beach. The statue was designed and constructed entirely through private contributions gathered by the Neptune Festival. It was dedicated to the city of Virginia Beach and its citizens.
Surrounded by the sea creatures of his realm (an octopus, two dolphins, a sea turtle, a lobster and twelve fish), mighty trident in hand, Neptune’s gaze rests peacefully yet protectively on the shore. His heroic image honors the maritime legacy of Virginia Beach while also serving as a vivid reminder of the community’s duty to respect and protect our natural blessings.
Artists from around the world were petitioned and considered before Virginia-based sculptor, Paul DiPasquale was selected to create Neptune’s statue. DiPasquale has created numerous permanent public statues and sculptors, including the bronze statue of Arthur Ashe on Richmond’s famous Monument Avenue. His work has been exhibited in the United States and Europe alike and he has earned recognition in well-known print and media for his insightful creations. He continues to live and work in Richmond, Virginia.
It took years of planning and finally the casting and placement of the bronze and stone artwork. An artist named Zhang Cong cast the work using traditional Chinese casting techniques. DiPasquale’s design was derived as a hands-on experience of reality and fantasy. It provokes imagination about the wonders hidden beneath the waves. At the same time, the protective Neptune is not entirely pleased with the poor ecological use of his seas by humans. This message, in bronze and stone, will carry on into the future as a reminder to all who pass by.
Make sure you and your friends and family get a photo of King Neptune while visiting Virginia Beach!