It’s about about a metre and a half tall, a metre deep and a good metre wide with a concrete outside layer.
But the question everyone is asking is: what is it?
President of the Cowra Italy Friendship Association Maria Bell said it could be a roadside chapel from the Italian quadrant of the POW camp.
“It looks like a roadside chapel as they have in many villages in Italy,” she said. “It could be the remains of it.”
The relic was discovered during the tree planting celebrations last weekend in one of the fields where the Italian POW camp used to stand.
It has a solid concrete exterior with brick inside of it.
Many remains of the various camps have been discovered, but some still lay unmarked after almost 60 years.
The foundations of latrines, fountains and other structures are visible, but some may still be hidden under the shrubbery and undergrowth of the fields.
There is no mention of this particular structure in the decade old draft consultation on management report.
Ms Bell said the relic has been mostly shielded from the elements by nature.
The shrine has academics across Australia baffled.
Senior lecturer in history at the Australian National University in Canberra Dr John Knott had his doubts about whether or not the relic had some religious use.
“I have to say that it doesn’t look like any local or roadside shrine I have ever seen in Italy,” he said. “They usually have a small alcove where the icon for the particular Saint is housed, out of the weather.”
“It probably has a more utilitarian function, but I could be wrong.”
Senior lecturer in archaeology at Sydney University Dr Martin Gibbs was astonished by the find.
“I’m stumped,” he said. “It looks too substantial to be a chapel or a shrine; it’s a lot of concrete.”
Ms Bell has sent photos of the relic to Italian historian Stefano Maccianti, who has previously visited Cowra to track his uncle’s path as a prisoner of war.
“He’ll be able to give us some insight into what it could be.”