There’s a Cryptographic Treasure Hunt for Gold Art Objects in a Small English Town

There’s a Cryptographic Treasure Hunt for Gold Art Objects in a Small English Town



An artist hid five, £1,000 small gold objects around Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. If you find these valuable pieces? They’re yours…

It’s not as easy as just finding these objects and cashing in, however. You will have decode encrypted messages starting with five paintings at the local arts centre and the encrypted codes within.
“I like the idea that ancient objects that were once hidden beneath the earth and were discovered and displayed at the museum are now being rehidden,” said designer Luke Jerram. “I hope the public will enjoy visiting 20-21 Arts Centre and exploring the town and surrounding countryside.”

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He added: “There’s a real mixture including one that could be solved by a child, others that could be deciphered by the average person and more challenging puzzles for mathematicians or code-breaking enthusiasts to try their hand at. One of the puzzles may take some months or even years to solve, if indeed it is ever cracked.”

Mathematician and professional code-setter Dan Fretwell encoded the artwork.

Code crackers lined up at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre located in Church Square, United Kingdom.

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“There is no way I could crack the most difficult one, I could certainly crack probably two or three of the paintings,” Jerram said to the BBC. “Some are really easy to decode, whereas the most complicated painting, it would take maybe a month for someone to perhaps work it out.”

Some of the codes could take months to decode. The five objects cast in gold are based upon items seen in the North Lincolnshire Museum.

The Treasured City exhibition runs through April 29.



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