Regardless of scandal, Arnold Schwarzenegger is still an icon – and is still as adored in his home country of Austria as ever. Schwarzenegger returned to his village of Thal on Friday, Oct. 7 to inaugurate a museum made in his childhood home, filled with mementos from his various stages in life and compiled by a friend of the actor’s from elementary school.
Schwarzenegger was accompanied in Austria by his son, Patrick, and reportedly told his ambitious kin to look to him as a role model for success. “For me, this is not only a museum,” he said. “It is also symbol of will… everyone has a chance.”
The museum is situated in the 200-year-old home in which Schwarzenegger was born and features intimate displays of the icon’s life, including his first barbell, photos from his early life and family, childhood bed, life-sized Terminator model, and wooden desk from his stint as the governor of California.
Outside, the actor – who is gearing up to make his return to acting – unveiled one of seven bronze statues of himself that he had commissioned, an eight-foot likeness of young Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder in his Mr. Universe days.
“My personal success has less to do with millions of dollars or with the headlines in the media that are not always positive and also not with being clapped on the shoulder by Barack Obama and other world names,” he said during the inauguration speech. “Personal success is the result of determination, hard work and stubbornness.”
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