Monday 20 November 2017

Schwarzenegger approves statue

Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved a 9ft tall sculpture of him in his bodybuilding prime
Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved a 9ft tall sculpture of him in his bodybuilding prime

A 9ft tall statue depicting Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of his bodybuilding career has received a final critique by the former Mr Universe before being sent for bronzing.

The former governor of California, who recently announced his return to acting, visited northern Idaho to suggest a few modifications to the clay sculpture.

It is destined to stand in a rippling, full-flex pose outside his childhood home, which is now a museum in Thal, Austria.

Arnold first commissioned artist Ralph Crawford in the 1970s to create a small bronze which became a trophy for a fitness event. Other commissions followed, including the most recent.

"(Crawford) has been known in the physique world as a Rodin," the actor said, referring to famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin. "Everything is very dramatic."

He said he chose a bodybuilding pose because that is what launched his career in the United States.

"It was the bodybuilding that got me to America, that got me into movies, that got me the governorship," he said. "That's where I learned about reaching out and helping other people."

Arnie was born in 1947 in the village of Thal, just outside Graz, where he began his bodybuilding career. He emigrated to the United States in 1968 and became a naturalised US citizen in 1984 but has retained his Austrian citizenship.

He said his childhood home where the statue will stand is a two-storey building which has been restored to what it was like when he was a boy. That means it has no running water, electric wiring runs on the outside of walls, and an outhouse and primitive gym are outside.

Ralph, 77, said he has already started work on a new sculpture of Arnold, depicting him during his time as governor.

Press Association

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