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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Statue plan for explorer Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley (image from 1895 glass negative bought by Denbighshire Council)
The original sculpture was torn down and now lies in a transport lot
A campaign is underway to recreate a statue of Victorian adventurer Henry Stanley in his home town Denbigh.

The HM Stanley Commemorative Group wants to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, to make a replica of a sculpture of the explorer.

Denbigh Town Council has backed the plan and is looking for a site.

Stanley famously found missing explorer Dr David Livingstone in east Africa in 1871, greeting him with the words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

County councillor Gwyneth Kensler said she was hopeful the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) might be able to help.

She added: "It's very much at the ideas stage, but I don't think funding will be a problem.

"The HLF were very supportive a few years ago when we tried to acquire Stanley items through a Christies auction."

'Facts and figures'

Henry Morton Stanley was illegitimate and born John Rowlands in very humble beginnings in Denbigh in 1841.

He spent most of his childhood in a workhouse in St Asaph, which later became a hospital, bearing his adopted name.

He later became a teacher and emigrated to the United States, where he changed his name to Stanley, fought in the civil war and became a journalist and eventually explorer.

Stanley later returned to Britain, became an MP and was knighted.

There have been calls for a permanent museum in his home town, which marked the centenary of his death in 2004.

Cllr Kensler said the plan for a statue was hatched by author Tim Jeal, a biographer of Stanley.

She said Mr Jeal had been in touch with the British ambassador in the Congo and had asked whether the original sculpture, made by Belgian Arthur Dupagne, could be donated to Denbigh.

'Catalyst'

The sculpture was ripped down during a revolution in the 1970s and now lies abandoned in a government transport lot in Kinshasa, she said.

However, Cllr Kensler said officials in the Congo now have plans to re-erect the sculpture there.

She added: "So the idea was formed to create a mould of the original, bring it back, and erect it in Denbigh.

"The town council is unanimously behind the idea, and Tim Jeal is currently looking at facts and figures involved."

Denbigh's mayor, town councillor Colin Hughes, added: "We'll probably be putting some money in to kick it off. We will hopefully be the catalyst."


SEE ALSO
Museum call for explorer Stanley
15 Mar 07 |  North East Wales
Explorer's exhibits on display
20 Apr 04 |  North East Wales

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