Kryptos: A Monument to CIA Secrecy


In the late nineteen eighties. The cia added a new headquarters building to their complex in langley virginia to celebrate the planners wanted to place an art installation between the old headquarters and the new one after a long search for the perfect artist. They awarded a two hundred fifty thousand dollar commission to a sculpture named jim. Sanborn sanborn was known for creating puzzling interactive art. Many of his previous sculptures involved cosmic images compasses and hidden meanings. He saw the cia's commission as an opportunity to explore another interest of his cryptography. Cryptography is the art of making and breaking codes. Sanborn wanted his sculpture to contain a series of secret messages and he wanted the coach to be incredibly difficult to crack so he contacted edwards shite. The head of the cia cryptography department. Sanborn goal was to make a code so tough that challenged even the most seasoned members of the cia. He met with shy in secret. And the cryptology expert taught him how to create ciphers a method of hiding a message by replacing or shuffling around its letters with sheds help sanborn wrote an encrypted four messages. Then he started work on the sculpture itself. The artwork began with a large copper sheet. Sanborn saw about eighteen hundred capital letters into the metal interspersed with the occasional question mark. It looked like an unsolved crossword puzzle. Well sanborn carved these odd patterns others at the cia. Compound tried to spy on the artist. Word of the sculpture had spread among employees and their interest was piqued

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