The federal government attempted to deflect criticism over a funding cut to the Australian War Memorial's travelling exhibitions by pointing to money promised for a larger exhibition for the Centenary of Anzac.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott was drawn into the row on Thursday when the opposition questioned him repeatedly about the issue in Parliament.
The memorial said on Monday it would end the 17-year tradition of travelling exhibitions due to budget cuts.
The exhibitions being dropped include Remember Me: The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt, Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan, Nurses: From Zululand to Afghanistan, A Camera on Gallipoli and Reality in Flames.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Abbott had promised before last year's election to protect the memorial, but had cut the funding for the exhibitions.
Mr Abbott replied that while small exhibitions would not be funded, a "very large" travelling exhibition would be funded.
"While $800,000 for small travelling exhibitions has not been paid, $10 million in seed funding for a very large travelling exhibition has been paid," he told Parliament.
"This very large travelling exhibition will be at the very heart of our Centenary of Anzac commemorations right around our country.
"There is scarcely a centre of any size around Australia that will not receive a visit from the Centenary of Anzac travelling exhibition."
When asked about the funding cut, Veterans Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson told the Senate: "I did not do this with any joy."
Mr Abbott said the Coalition had increased overall funding for the memorial and the plan for the centenary travelling exhibition was proposed by the centenary of Anzac committee, with support both sides of politics.
"It really is odd for the Labor Party to play politics over the Australian War Memorial," he said.