Knaack for art installation

Knaack's newest: a 230 tonne Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1 Adding the last few ballasted shipping containers to the Global Gate, claimed as the world’s largest mobile artwork. Photo: Liebherr

A large new mobile crane in Germany was instrumental in the assembly of what is claimed as the world’s largest piece of mobile art.

The great Hanseatic city of Hamburg was the temporary home for the Global Gate, an artwork installation constructed from 37 shipping containers. They are arranged 20 metres high in the shape of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Local lifting specialist Knaack Krane chose a 230 tonne capacity wheeled mobile telescopic crane for the assembly work.

Otto Waalkes, left, with Marcus Schäfer Artist Otto Waalkes, left, with art curator Marcus Schäfer, onsite at the Global Gate in Hamburg. Photo: Liebherr

In addition to being a work of art in its own right, the Global Gate is a place where local artists can display their work in public. Both the artist Otto Waalkes and art curator Marcus Schäfer were there for the construction.

Lifting one of the Ottifants atop the Brandenburg Gate made of shipping containers Adding Ottifants to the top of the structure. Photo: Liebherr

Topped with elephants

Covering an area of 2,000 square metres, the Global Gate was crowned with four Ottifants – cartoon elephant sculptures by Otto Waalkes – lifted into place atop the structure using Knaack’s latest Liebherr, an LTM 1230-5.1.

It took four days to construct and install the artwork. Challenges included being close to the River Elbe, uneven ground and strong wind. The crane was rigged with 48 metres of boom and 22 tonnes of ballast. It had only been in service four weeks. For stability the containers, which each weighed 3.9 tonnes empty, were ballasted with sand to each weigh 15 tonnes.

Dubai and Frankfurt are both previous destinations for the artwork.

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