THE result Denbigh residents have been waiting for will be announced later this week as the Town Council reveals whether the Sir Henry Morton (HM) Stanley will stay or go.

The bronze statue of the famous explorer was commissioned over a decade ago, but Stanley’s association with European imperialism led to protests sparked by Black Lives Matters in 2020.

Denbigh Town Council commissioned the piece on Hall Square, hiring North Wales artist Nick Elphick to create the sculpture.

Earlier this month, a public consultation on the hotly debated future of the statue, located outside the town library, took place more than a year after it was promised due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After a raft of protests last year, activists called for the effigy of arguably the town’s most famous son to be removed.

Denbigh Town Council held a meeting in June 2020 to discuss its future. Members voted 6-5 to keep it in lieu of a public consultation on whether to retain it long-term or move it from the wider public’s gaze.

However, Mayor at the time of the debate, Cllr Gaynor Wood-Tickle, promised people in Denbigh a “democratic vote” and full public consultation on the matter.

On October 15 and 16 of this year, locals casted their votes to end the uncertainty surrounding the statue for good.

The result of that vote will be discussed at a full council meeting on Wednesday October 27 and a final decision will be made.

Journalist and explorer HM Stanley is synonymous with the phrase “Dr Livingstone, I presume”, after finding the Scottish explorer who had been lost in central Africa.

Stanley, born John Rowlands, started life fatherless in Denbigh in 1841 and was put into the Asaph workhouse in nearby St Asaph.

He emigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he reinvented himself.

He fought in the American Civil war, became a journalist and then a noted explorer – finding the source of the Nile, mapping central Africa’s Great Lakes and also the borders of the present day Democratic Republic of Congo.

Stanley is controversial to some because of links with Belgian King Leopold II, for whom he worked for a time and his own alleged treatment of indigenous workers and guides.

The monarch committed acts of appalling inhumanity against the population of the Congo Free State – now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However his supporters say Stanley was not working for the Belgian despot when the atrocities occurred and he has been unfairly tainted.