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Snow statue of Hippocrates Goes Up in Astoria Park

The Hippocrates sculpture (Photos courtesy Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas

Feb. 9, 2021 By Christina Santucci

A pair of artists turned Sunday’s snow in Astoria Park into a giant sculpture of an ancient Greek physician.

Melissa Vadakara teamed up with Marios Tzavellas to craft a 6 1/2-foot snowman of Hippocrates holding a Rod of Asclepius, the symbol for medicine and health.

Vadakara said the artists envisioned the sculpture as a symbolic protector for the neighborhood from the COVID-19 pandemic. “He’s overlooking the park, watching out for everyone’s health,” she said.

The sculpture was the pair’s third creation in Astoria Park over the past few weeks. They made a snow god in December and a 7-foot ice queen the day after more than a foot fell on the borough Feb. 1.

Vadakara estimated the Hippocrates sculpture took five hours, which was three hours less than their previous piece. This time they had a shovel to speed up the process.

Vadakara said she hoped the snow art took viewers’ breath away in surprise.

The snow creations have also amazed Astoria residents online — with more than a thousand people marveling at pictures posted to a neighborhood Facebook group.

But sadly, only Hippocrates’ torso and legs remained in the park Monday evening.

Vadakara said she and Tzavellas plan to build more snow sculptures later this week if more than three inches accumulate. But the pair might pick a new location — to mix things up.

However, Astoria Park will always be a source of inspiration.

“Marios and I, we love that park,” Vadakara said.

The Hippocrates sculpture (Photo courtesy Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas)

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