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Codebreaker’s portrait is one of Virginia’s 10 Most Endangered Artifacts

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:06 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - A Lexington museum is hoping for some help with restoring an artifact in its collection.

The painting of Elizebeth Friedman, in the collection of the George C. Marshall Foundation, is listed among the 10 most endangered artifacts in the state by the Virginia Association of Museums.

Friedman was a code breaker in World Wars I and II, breaking codes for the U.S. Department of Justice, Navy and Coast Guard.

”But as a woman working in a largely male-dominated field, like cryptography, she has not really gotten her due until now,” said Paul Levengood, the Marshall Foundation’s President. “But she was one of the most accomplished cryptanalysts in the 20th century in the United States, and her contributions to national defense and security were extremely important for a very long period of time.”

The item that gets the most votes online will receive $1,000 to help in its conservation. You can vote for the portrait and see the other artifacts by clicking here.

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