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10 October 2003

The National Museum showcases two of Australia's icons next week when it displays the Melbourne Cup matched by, from its own collection, the heart of the legendary Phar Lap.

The $80,000, 18 carat gold Melbourne Cup will be unveiled in the Museum's Hall at 11am on Monday, 13 October with an official ceremony to celebrate Canberra's contribution to Melbourne Cup history.

Museum director Dawn Casey will talk about the Museum's link to the Cup and introduce the Victoria Racing Club's Joe McGrath, to outline the Cup's historic tour this month to all the towns, cities and outback centres around Australia that have a genuine link to 'The People's Cup'.

Local trainers John Morrissey (Arwon, 1978 Melbourne Cup winner) and Barbara Joseph (Ain't Seen Nothin', hoping for a 2003 win) will share their thoughts on what the Melbourne Cup means to them. The ceremony will include footage of Phar Lap.

'We are very proud to have Phar Lap's heart in the Museum,' said Museum director Dawn Casey. 'And it's a special thrill to have it displayed - if only for a few hours with the Melbourne Cup, which it won in 1930. The People's Cup should feel right at home here at what is often called The People's Museum.'

Phar Lap's heart - which has been on display in the Museum's Nation Gallery until recently - makes its appearance from the Museum's conservation area, where staff are devising a permanent display system.

WHAT: Melbourne Cup and Phar Lap's heart on display

WHEN: 11am - 2pm, Monday, 13 October

WHERE: The Hall, National Museum of Australia, Acton Peninsula

For more information, please contact the Museum's Public Affairs Director, Martin Portus, on 6208 531, 0409 916 481 or email

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