The Australian War Memorial has removed Ben Roberts-Smith's portraits from public display as part of renovations and it is uncertain whether they will return.
It has also installed a new plaque alongside the VC recipient's combat uniform, adding context about his recent court ruling.
The change in the way the Victoria Cross holder is presented follows a judgement in the federal court that the former special forces soldier had committed war crimes while in Afghanistan, including the murder of unarmed prisoners.
His portraits were recently removed from display when the section they were in was closed as part of the memorial's renovations.
The main one is called "Pistol Grip" and shows the soldier crouching as though to fire a pistol.
The artist Michael Zavros was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial to paint it. According to the AWM, "Zavros observed that when he asked Roberts-Smith to pose in a fighting stance, 'He went to this whole other mode. He was suddenly this other creature and I immediately saw all these other things. It showed me what he is capable of. It was just there in this flash."
This picture was in the section devoted to the Afghan conflict. This whole section has now been closed while it is redesigned with the expansion.
There is expected to be a heated debate on the memorial's council over whether the controversial portrait will return. Curators will also have a say in the decision.
The uniform and painting are in different parts of the museum section of the war memorial.
The new plaque by the soldier's combat fatigues says: "Accounts of alleged misconduct by a small number of Australian Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan began appearing in the media from late 2016.
"Claims were later heard in a civil defamation case brought by Roberts-Smith against media outlets and journalists. In June 2023 a Federal Court judge determined that there was 'substantial truth' to the allegations that Roberts-Smith had been involved and complicit in unlawful killings in Afghanistan. Roberts-Smith has appealed this decision."
It is by no means clear that the pictures of the disgraced Victoria Cross holder will be there when the revamped gallery is re-opened.
It may well be that the public has had its last chance to view the portraits - but not the uniform.
The AWM said the revamp of the gallery had been planned since 2021. "Two Ben Roberts-Smith portraits have been decanted as part of these planned gallery works."
The council of the war memorial has been wrestling with how - and whether - to depict the fallen hero.
In June, the new chairman of the memorial's council, Kim Beazley, said: "Collection items relating to Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG, including his uniform, equipment, medals and associated art works, are on display in the memorial's galleries.
"We are considering carefully the additional content and context to be included in these displays."
That reconsidering has now been done and the new plaque is the result.
The council met on the day after the ruling in which Justice Anthony Besanko found that, on the balance of probabilities, the special forces soldier kicked a handcuffed prisoner off a cliff in Afghanistan in 2012 before ordering a subordinate to kill him.
There was a view on the AWM council that the museum side of the institution should reflect all sides of war, the heroic and the evil. It is not known where former prime minister and council member Tony Abbott stood in the debate.
While public figures called for the removal of the former soldier's exhibits, members of the public at the time were not so sure.
Vietnam war veteran John Pettigrove was so angry at the way the Victoria Cross holder had been treated that he was barely able to speak. Conquering his rage, he said: "Just leave him alone. He should be given another VC."
Another visitor, Simon Pintus, said simply: "He's a good bloke. He's a VC holder."
A fourth visitor, Lex Sommerville, said: "He should be left alone."
He, Mr Pintus and Mr and Mrs Pettigrove were at the extreme, pro end of the for-and-against spectrum of what was a highly unscientific sample.
But some endorsed the view that the items should stay but with additional explanatory text.
On this view, the bravery that earned him the Victoria Cross should not be erased but the disgrace over the war crimes that emerged in court should also be prominent.
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