Top Secret! A World of Codes and Ciphers


Imagine a society where all information would be transparent and known to all. Difficult to do so, because cryptography or "secret writing" always existed ...

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Time & Place

10 Oct 2017 13:00 to 20 May 2018 17:00
76 rue de nimy, 7000 Mons Belgium

Target Audience



What unites a potter in the sixteenth century BC and British mathematician Alan Turing? One, living in ancient Iraq, hid his manufacturing recipe by playing on spelling and suppressing consonants; the other helped shorten by two years the Second World War by breaking the Enigma code… and in doing so probably the world by laying down the principles of computing. Julius Caesar, during the Gallic War, encrypted his messages. King Nebuchadnezzar even hid information under the hair of his slaves!

From a game devised by Egyptian scribes to war communications, from innocent love messages to electronic voting, from the beginnings of the Internet to cyber war: immerse yourself in the universe of secrecy! You will discover machines used for (de)encryption, but also the men and women who contributed to the development of the discipline over the centuries. Who says encrypting says deciphering: the culture of hacking and transgression will be decoded at the heart of the Mundaneum, the "Paper Google"

Exhibition available in [FR-NL-ENG]
Curation: Jean-Jacques Quisquater
Exceptionnelle contribution by Sir John Dermot Turing, nephew of Alan Turing

Professor Quisquater is an international cryptographer. A civil engineer in applied mathematics (1970) and a doctor in computer science, he is a Professor at the Catholic university of Louvain but also a specialised collector.