Cricket's legendary Ashes urn is returning to Melbourne for just the third time in 137 years as part of a major exhibition.
The original urn, symbolising cricket's greatest rivalry between Australia and England, will be the centrepiece of the Velvet, Iron, Ashes exhibition at the State Library opening in spring.
"Cricket lovers and history buffs will be bowled over by this rare opportunity to get up close to the iconic Ashes urn," Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said in a statement.
The urn is usually kept behind glass at London's Lord's Cricket Ground but the Marylebone Cricket Club has agreed to release it for the first exhibition in the new gallery wing at the library.
The interactive exhibition will show origins of the Ashes urn - from a mock funeral notice, a precious perfume jar and a family cricket match and its little-known connections to Ned Kelly, Yallourn power station and even Nappy Wash.
"The story of the Ashes urn is one that captivates so many people around the world and the State Library's exhibition is a very fitting place for its story to be told," Marylebone Cricket Club chief executive Guy Lavender said.