The 30ft ENIGMA! GHCQ installs giant Alan Turing puzzle at HQ to honour first LGBT person to appear on UK banknote… but can YOU crack the code?
- The first £50 notes depicting the famed mathematician will be issued in Britain from today, his 109th birthday
- A giant artwork of wartime hero Alan Turing has been installed in the heart of GCHQ in Cheltenham
- The 32ft by 32ft rainbow-coloured canvas inspired by the LGBT Pride flag has been unveiled in Benhall
A giant artwork of Alan Turing has been installed at the heart of GCHQ as the wartime hero becomes the first LGBT person to feature on a UK banknote.
The first £50 notes depicting the famed mathematician, who is often considered to be the father of computer science, will be issued from today – during Pride Month and on what would have been his 109th birthday.
To mark the occasion, a 32ft by 32ft rainbow-coloured canvas inspired by the LGBT Pride flag has been unveiled at the centre of the GCHQ hub in Benhall, Gloucestershire, a building known as the Doughnut.
Mr Turing played a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma code at Bletchley Park, which was GCHQ’s home during the Second World War.
The artwork, which lies flat facing the sky, was created by 3D artist Joe Hill in collaboration with GCHQ’s Pride network and features Mr Turing inside the wheels of the British Bombe – the machine he designed to crack the Enigma code.
To mark the occasion, a 32ft by 32ft rainbow-coloured canvas inspired by the LGBT Pride flag has been unveiled at the centre of the GCHQ hub in Benhall, Gloucestershire – a building known as the Doughnut
The artwork, which lies flat facing the sky, was created by 3D artist Joe Hill in collaboration with GCHQ’s Pride network and features Mr Turing inside the wheels of the British Bombe – the machine he designed to crack the Enigma code
The artwork also contains 15 hidden codes for viewers to decipher, and will later be donated to organisations chosen by GCHQ’s Pride Network.
Clue 1 is a lever on a bombe wheel that points to specific letters, clue 2 is QUNDRV6UZU5DRQ – it is Base 64 code which is used in programming to represent binary data.
Clue 3, 12 5 2 19 9 14, represents the corroborating letters in the alphabet to form a word and clue 4 is braille spelling out one of Turing’s key attributes.
Clue 5 is 01001100 0100. The numbers 0 and 1 form binary code, which is used for computing. 105 121 125 101 114 111 124 131 is clue 6. The ‘octal’ code system puts digits one to seven into groups of three to represent numbers which are then translated into letters.
The final clue is in morse code, a mixture of dots and dashes that form words.
‘Alan Turing was a genius who helped to shorten the war and influence the technology that still shapes our lives today,’ said GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming.
‘He was embraced for his brilliance but persecuted for being gay. Turing’s legacy reminds us every day that diversity is essential and inclusion is mission critical to our organisation.
‘Turing was and remains a beacon of hope for all who dare to live and think differently.’
Born on June 23 1912, Mr Turing studied mathematics at King’s College, University of Cambridge, gaining a first-class honours degree in 1934. He was elected a Fellow of the College.
In 1936 his work On Computable Numbers is seen as giving birth to the idea of how computers could operate.
His ‘Turing test’ also examined the behaviour necessary for a machine to be considered intelligent – the foundation for artificial intelligence.
After his efforts during the Second World War – which are credited with saving millions of lives – Mr Turing was later convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man.
Skylar, whose second name cannot be revealed for security reasons, the head of GCHQ’s Pride Network, said: ‘Alan Turing is a role model for many here at GCHQ and a global icon as an LGBT+ person in the field of science and technology.
‘Though we should never forget the tragedy of his life being cut short, we should always endeavour to learn from his legacy and create a safer and better future for LGBT+ people.
‘I am proud to see GCHQ recognising the importance Alan Turing has for LGBT+ people, owning its shared history with our community and doing so in such a public and bold way.’
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