North East Wales

Second statue of explorer HM Stanley for Denbighshire

An artist's impression of the Stanley "totem pole"

A second statue to remember Victorian explorer HM Stanley is being proposed for his home county.

Plans for the first in Denbigh have caused controversy with opponents, who claim Stanley aided slavery.

Now a Cornish father and son have revealed designs for a "totem pole" style statue in St Asaph.

The artists said they would "take on board" the earlier criticism and said the memorial was more about the time Stanley lived.

The 4m (13ft) work is by blacksmith artists Gary and Thomas Thrussell and will be erected in Stanley's childhood home town.

Residents and children are being asked their ideas to be included on the pole.

A separate statue for Denbigh was approved by Denbighshire council last month, despite a letter signed by 50 prominent figures claiming the explorer was guilty of crimes against humanity.

Instead, opponents had called for a permanent exhibition to provide a "fuller" historical context.

Gary Thrussell, one half of the Cornwall-based father and son team behind the St Asaph design, said they would be taking that controversy "on board".

He added: "We're trying to celebrate a general picture of that time, and of Africa as well.

"This is more about the time that Stanley lived, and depicting life generally."

On Tuesday, local school children will be offering ideas for inclusion on the galvanised steel statue.

At the top of the pole, will sit a Congolese effigy made from copper.

Mr Thrussell added: "It's really about getting ideas for the content of the sculpture and what they would like to see in it.

"We want to create a time line of Stanley's life.

"It's a 4m column with a snake wrapped around it from the bottom to the top.

"In between the snake is a forged relief of Stanley's life, starting at St Asaph where he was a child in the work house.

"It's like a totem pole for St Asaph."

Stanley is known for greeting the missing explorer in Africa in 1871, saying "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

An open day is being held at the community and council meeting room, Roe Plas Meadow, St Asaph, between 1230 BST and 1400 BST and 1500-1600 BST on Tuesday 12 October.

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