British Spy Agency Pays Homage to Code Breaker Turing in Giant Artwork | World news


LONDON (Reuters) – British spy agency GCHQ has installed a giant multicolored work of art to celebrate code breaker and mathematician Alan Turing, who helped turn the tide of World War II against Nazi Germany but was persecuted for his homosexuality.

The 10-meter (33-foot) by 10-meter work of art in the center of the agency’s donut-shaped headquarters depicts Turing inside the wheels of the code-breaking machine he uses. designed.

Considered the father of modern computing, Turing led a team that cracked the Nazis’ naval Enigma code for British spies, a breakthrough dramatized in the 2014 thriller “The Imitation Game.”

But he pleaded guilty to gross indecency in 1952 after having sex with another man and, forced to undergo hormonal injections, committed suicide two years later at the age of 41 by eating an apple mixed with cyanide.

Unveiled on his birthday as a new 50-pound note featuring Turing entered circulation, GCHQ’s artwork in the town of Cheltenham, in the west of England, was premiered by the 3D artist Joe Hill and features 15 hidden codes.

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It also contains a famous quote from Turing: “Sometimes it’s people that no one can imagine who do things that no one can imagine. “

Years after his death, Turing became a symbol of the prejudices suffered by homosexuals during his lifetime.

“He was kissed for his genius but persecuted for his homosexuality,” said Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ.

Turing joined the Government Code & Cypher School, a precursor to GCHQ, in 1939 to help break German codes. With the help of the Poles, he broke Naval Enigma. He left GCHQ in 1945.

GCHQ is Britain’s largest spy agency. Its job is to spy on the world to protect British security, although it also disrupts communications.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by John Stonestreet)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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