The Cyrillic Projector is a sculpture created by American artist Jim Sanborn in the early 1990s, and was purchased by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997. It is currently installed between the campus’ Friday and Fretwell Buildings.
The encrypted sculpture Cyrillic Projector is part of an encrypted family of three intricate puzzle-sculptures by Sanborn, the other two named Kryptos and Antipodes. The famous Kryptos sculpture (located at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia) has text which is duplicated on Antipodes. Antipodes has two sides — one with the Latin alphabet and one with the Cyrillic alphabet. The Latin side is similar to Kryptos. The Cyrillic side is similar to the Cyrillic Projector.
The Russian text of the Cyrillic Projector was finally decrypted and translated in English in 2003 after Elonka Dunin “led the charge”, with the ciphertext independently decrypted by Frank Corr and Mike Bales, and plaintext translation from Russian provided by Dunin.
The sculpture includes two messages. The first is a Russian text that explains the use of psychological control to develop and maintain potential sources of information. The second is a partial quote about the Soviet dissident, Nobel Peace Prize awarded scientist Sakharov. The text is from a classified KGB memo, detailing concerns that his report at the 1982 Pugwash conference was going to be used by the U.S. for anti-Soviet propaganda purposes.
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