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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 08:52 GMT
Decision awaited on statue's fate
Niger River map
Richard Lander discovered the source of the River Niger in 1830
The future of a statue in Truro built to commemorate the achievements of a Cornish explorer could be decided by members of the public.

The monument of Richard Lander is 150 years old and made of Bath stone, but it is falling into disrepair.

Residents are now being asked to decide whether it should be repaired, replaced, or left to the elements.

Town clerk Russell Holden said it was important a decision was made by the end of the year.

Discovered source

"It is 200 years this year since Richard Lander was born," he said.

"People are saying that if nothing is done about the statue this year it won't happen and I think they are right.

"Decisions need to made in 2004 about the way forward."

Lander discovered the source of the River Niger in West Africa in 1830 - and it earned him an audience with King George IV.

Great achievements

To mark the anniversary of his birth and to celebrate his achievements, the Metropolitan Police Expedition Society plan to trace his 800-kilometre (497-mile) route along the River Niger in November.

One of the Blue Badge Guides in Truro, Penny Finken, said few people in her tours of the city realised Lander's great achievements.

"We include Richard Lander as a very important part of the walk because he is such a famous son of Truro.

"He was an amazing lad. He walked to London from Truro when he was only nine years old," she said.

Explorer's anniversary marked
07 Feb 04  |  Cornwall

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