Archibald-winning artist Ben Quilty accuses Tony Abbott of dishonesty over funding

Ben Quilty. (AAP)

Archibald-winning artist Ben Quilty has lashed out at the prime minister over funding to The Australian War Memorial in a Facebook post that has attracted more than 1000 'likes'.

Australian artist Ben Quilty claims the prime minister has broken a promise to support returning ADF personnel by axing funding for art exhibitions from the Australian War Memorial.

In a post to Facebook this week, Quilty expressed anger at the federal government's decision to axe funding from the Australian War Memorial for touring exhibitions.

Quilty – whose "After Afghanistan" exhibition is currently showing in Perth – said this move was at odds with earlier assurances given by Mr Abbott.

“When I met you Prime Minister Tony Abbot two years ago at the Afghanistan Exhibition at the Australian War Memorial you promised me that you had the returning ADF personnel at the front of your mind moving forward,” he wrote in the post.

"You said that no expense would be spared to ensure they could return, their stories told, their affairs cared for.

"I am devastated by this move by your government and astounded by that dishonest conversation."

He said returning personnel needed support.

"I have tried to see reason in the decisions that The Department of Veteran's Affairs has made concerning young broken soldiers from the war in Afghanistan," he wrote. "But it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that the DVA has completely lost site of it's mission.

"Re-directing War Memorial funding to the 2015 Anzac centenary is not going to help one single young man with PTSD, nor one widow, nor her children. 

Quilty won the prestigious Archibald Prize in 2011 for his portrait of Australian artist, Margaret Olley.

Source SBS

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