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The bucket-wheel excravator 288 and his five duplicates are the world’s biggest land-based machines ever constructed. Like no other machine, they are symbolic for the open pit lignite mining with all its advantages and disavantages. The technical infrastructure is the deciding element of its impact on the landscape, for instance the excravators and stackers move millions of bulk material, uncover fossil fuel for the incernation, lead to resettlement of whole villages, but also have an imense merit when it is about today’s industrialisation and wealth. At the same time, the machines are example and benchmark for outstanding technical engineering. Their dimension is so phenomenal that without any size scala the human perception reaches their limit.
Eventually, they are reference for many people with various relation: coal miners, coal and mining opponents, resettler, tourists and electricity consumer.
For these reason, I support the initiative Schaufelradbagger e.V. and I demand, that the technical infrastructure in the Rheinish lignite mining area is partly conserved due to its meaning as relevant part of the European industrial history.