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Vic Minister Wants Phar Lap Heart & Skeleton For Melb Cup

Tuesday, 6th April 2010

Victorian Racing Minister Rob Hulls "has told Canberra to stop guarding the only heart there & investigate ways of getting Phar Lap's ticker to Melbourne," reported The Herald-Sun. The Minister's "dream of having Phar Lap's heart brought to Melbourne for this year's Melbourne Cup hit its 1st snag yesterday with the National Museum saying it was in no state to travel". But Hulls "refused to be deterred", declaring there should be "an investigation into technology that could help bring the horse's fragile heart from Canberra to Melbourne". And Hulls said the "quick rejection of the bid by museum boffins was a sign of over-zealous protection". Hulls summed up: "Whilst we understand them wanting to jealously guard one of the only hearts in Canberra, we are very keen to enter into serious negotiations about how, in the 21st Century, we can use appropriate technology to transfer Phar Lap's heart to Melbourne." Hulls wants to have the infamous heart & skeleton (from New Zealand) join Phar Lap's hide in Melbourne for the 150th Melbourne Cup (& 80th anniversary of Phar Lap's win) in November. But spokesman Dennis Grant for the National Museum (home of the heart) told Radio 3AW: "It's pretty old. The heart is stable, but the tissue is very, very fragile & frankly it's unable to travel. It's unlikely the heart will ever travel again." Experts enlisted by the museum advised "vibrations caused by movement & sound are the biggest threats to the heart", which is "kept in a special solution, under low lighting & in temperature-controlled conditions". Grant summed up: "This is tissue & ashes-to-ashes, as the good book says." Hulls is campaigning to "re-unify the turf champion at Melbourne Museum & has written to New Zealand & Canberra museums urging them to "put Big Red together again" (by displaying the body parts alongside Phar Lap's hide at Melbourne Museum) & emphasising: "It would be a terrific tourist attraction during the Spring Carnival."

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