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    Google donates £550,000 to help restore site of Turing's codebreaking project

    Google donates £550,000 to help restore site of Turing's codebreaking project


    Google has donated £550,000 to Bletchley Park, the site where World War II cryptographers cracked the German Enigma cipher and laid many of the foundations of modern computing. The funds will repair derelict buildings and set up a new exhibition.

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    Bletchley Park, site of the Allied codebreaking program during World War II and current home of the British National Museum of Computing, is raising funds to complete remodeling of the facility. The repairs would focus particularly on the huts where cryptographers, including Alan Turing, cracked the German Enigma cipher using machines that would lay the groundwork for much of modern computing. Money would also be used to set up an exhibition in the now-derelict C Block, which housed the program's massive punch card collection.

    The bulk of the repair money comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has pledged to give £4.6 million as soon as £1.7 million in matching funds has been raised. So far, the largest private donor is Google, which gave £550,000 to the project today. Google has been integral to Bletchley's remodeling effort, holding fundraisers and even helping to buy a collection of Turing's papers for the Park. As you can see from the picture above, some of the buildings are greatly in need of repair — that's Hut 6, where German Army and Air Force codes were decrypted. Despite this, the site draws in 130,000 visitors a year, and offers lectures, tours, and even weddings.