Bletchley gay nightclub unveils rainbow Alan Turing memorial

Ashley Chhibber June 23, 2014
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A gay nightclub in Buckinghamshire has unveiled what is claimed to be the first monument to Alan Turing which celebrates his sexuality.

The work of gay code-breaker Turing at Bletchley Park was instrumental in the Allied victory in the Second World War, but he was later convicted of gross indecency for having a relationship with another man.

His death in 1954 was deemed a suicide, although there have been recent calls to reopen the inquiry.

The new artwork was unveiled outside Pink Punters in Fenny Stratford on 23 June, to mark what would have been Turing’s 102nd birthday.

The owners of the LGBT venue. near Bletchley Park, said that the art is “the world’s first public work to recognise Alan as gay”.

MC Larry Neild added: “He died because he was a gay man and there is nothing to record that fact.

The display, which features a mosaic of Turing’s face haloed by a rainbow, was created by Yorkshire artists Al Budd and Rita Gav.

In recent years, Turing’s contributions and tragic premature death have gained increasing public recognition in a variety of ways.

Last December, nearly sixty years after his death, Turing was granted a posthumous pardon by the Queen.

Announcing the budget in March, George Osborne promised the foundation of a research institute in Turing’s honour.

In April this year, experiments were used to validate the only biology article Turing ever wrote, while in June a computer programme became the first to pass the Turing Test, developed by Turing to as a marker of sentience in artificial intelligence.

Bletchley Park has hosted a monument to Turing since July 2011, and an exhibition on his life since March 2012. In September 2012, it created a version of Monopoly dedicated to his life.

Update: This story originally identified Larry Neild as the project coordinator, however he was the MC for the event. Gayle Dallas was the project coordinator.

Related topics: Alan Turing, artwork, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, England, pardon, queen, Turing

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