Video of the reunion of Phar Lap's hide and skeleton


Peter Swinkels: From what I can see so far, it looks like it's very typical of most other skeletons I've seen articulated. A lot of the articulations of most animals are done in a similar manner. You can see it's a fairly old one just by the steel rods - the solid, square bar which you don't use as much these days - the way it's wired together... it's similar to one we did last week of Carbine, which was done in the 1920s, but it's of an 1890s racehorse.

When you're reassembling one like this that's been put together before, it's a fairly quick process. You usually leave a lot of elements together, like the rib cage and vertebrae; you don't generally pull it completely apart.

Elizabeth McCartney: I'm going through the condition report provided by Te Papa which details the condition of the specimen when it left New Zealand. So it goes through each of the bones, each of the ribs, and tells me a bit about whether there are cracks or abraisions, whether there's paint missing or holes that have been drilled in for specific purposes. So I read through this and then I look at the specimen and check the specimen against what's written here.

For an old horse, he's not doing too badly.

{chatter between the assembly team members}

Hon Rob Hulls MP: Such was Phar Lap's place in the Australian psyche then, that American owner David Davis, with the approval of Harry Telford, decided that the heart should go to Canberra, the skeleton to New Zealand, and the hide to Victoria, where it remains one of the most popular exhibits here at the Melbourne Museum. Today, however, we see Phar Lap reunited.

Michael Houlihan: I think the great thing is that the two nations can get together and actually share the excitement of one of the great icons, one of the great legends of sporting history, one of New Zealand's great legends of sporting history. So tēnā koutou katoa, thank you.

About this Video

Assembly, installation and launch at Melbourne Museum of Phar Lap's skeleton, on loan from the Museum of New Zealand until 31 January 2011.
Length: 04:56