Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Saturday, 17 January 2009

'A Stanley memorial, I presume?'

Henry Morton Stanley (image from 1895 glass negative bought by Denbighshire Council)
People are putting up statues of Eric Morecambe and Brian Clough and all sorts of modern celebrities like that... certainly Mr Stanley ranks up with them
Ann Thomas, art expert

The birthplace of Victorian explorer Henry Morton Stanley is being asked if it wants to honour him with a memorial.

Stanley was born in Denbigh, Denbighshire, and also lived as a child in a workhouse in nearby St Asaph.

He is best known for finding the missing explorer David Livingstone in east Africa in 1871, greeting him with the words, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

Art expert Ann Thomas, who is leading a consultation on a memorial, called him one of Britain's foremost explorers.

Despite his Denbighshire connections, Stanley has never been commemorated in the area, apart from some local exhibitions.

Denbighshire council is now carrying out a feasibility study in the area to see what kind of memorial, if any, people would like to see.

Stanley was illegitimate and born John Rowlands in 1841. He grew up in Asaph Union Workhouse, which is now called HM Stanley Hospital, before he became a teacher and emigrated to the United States.

He changed his name to Stanley, fought in the civil war and became a journalist and eventually an explorer.

One option is to take a mould of an existing statue, which is currently in a state of disrepair in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ms Thomas said Stanley deserved to be remembered.

"There are also lots of modern, contemporary statues rather than this Victorian gentleman stuck up on a plinth - like the John Lennon statue in Liverpool that you just come across leaning against a wall," Ms Thomas said.

"If you look around various towns in Great Britain, people are putting up statues of Eric Morecambe and Brian Clough and all sorts of modern celebrities like that," she added.

"Certainly Mr Stanley ranks up with them - and he was a son of Denbigh."

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SEE ALSO
Statue plan for explorer Stanley
05 Jul 07 |  North East Wales
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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