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Statue of Turing spurned by US IT giants

Believe it or not, the computer was not invented by an American

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Skinflint US computer companies that have made trillions out of the industry are too stingy to find a measly £55,000 to erect a humble memorial to the father of computer science, Alan Turing. Sculptor Glyn Hughes has sent letters to all the major IT companies requesting donations so that he can complete the bronze work. But Hughes has been given the cold shoulder so far and believes part of that is because Turing -- the inventor of the computer -- was English and gay, rather than a red-blooded American. "This man deserves remembering," said Hughes. "And bearing in mind how much money computer companies have made on the back of his discovery you'd think they would be only too happy to stump up the cash." The bronze statue of Turing sat on a park bench in Manchester has already been given the go-ahead by Manchester City Council and has the backing of the UK's Culture Minister Chris Smith. Asked why the government didn't fund the statue instead of the likes of Microsoft, IBM or Apple, Hughes said he hadn't even asked for its support. "I didn't think I'd meet such resistance from the IT industry," he said. A spokesman for the Great Stan of Software said an application for the cash had been received and that they were thinking about it. The same goes for Apple. Big Blur, on the other hand, had already dismissed the application and said it would not be parting with any cash. "IBM doesn't normally sponsor this kind of thing," said Andrew Goldman, corporate communications manager for IBM in the UK. But erecting a statue to a man such as Turing, a man to whom the industry should pay more than lip-service, is hardly a normal sort of request. ®

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