There was a palpable air of excitement around Melbourne Museum< Australia, as people queued and tv crews jostled at the starting gate of the revamped Phar Lap display.
The exhibit was officially opened by Victoria’s Minister for Racing, Hon. Rob Hulls, with speeches by Museum Victoria’s Director, Dr. Patrick Greene, and Michael Houlihan, Te Papa’s Chief Executive. Michael’s speech, filled with racing analogies, had the crowd laughing but thinking about New Zealand’s significant contribution (in terms of bloodlines) to Australian racing history. Melbourne Museum’s manager Brett Dunlop did a fine job of keeping proceedings trotting along until the final reveal.
Sorry I don’t have better pictures – the lights were all geared for the cameras! The hide of Phar Lap is in a case directly behind the skeleton (so they are nose to tail). BUT I do have better photos of the morning tea spread – all Phar Lap-oriented, of course!
Now the heart is in Canberra at the National Museum of Australia and is far too fragile to travel but Melbourne Museum made sure that it was remembered.
Phar Lap’s skeleton will be on display at Melbourne Museum until the end of January 2011 and will be back on display at Te Papa in his home “stable” in March.Phar Lap