Press releases | 11/16/2023 Liebherr mobile crane erects “Ottifant” artwork in Hamburg

  • LTM 1230-5.1 from Knaack Krane erects world’s largest mobile work of art
  • Crowned with “Ottifants”: numerous works by Otto Waalkes were exhibited on the Global Gate in Hamburg
  • Artist Otto Waalkes as well as art curator Marcus Schäfer were there in person

Covering an area of 2,000 square metres, the Global Gate offers an enormous exhibition platform for artists. Consisting of sea containers arranged in the shape of the Brandenburg Gate, the installation offers artists the opportunity to present their works in a public space. The Global Gate was erected and crowned with four “Ottifants” – cartoon elephants in the comic style of Otto Waalkes – with help from the latest addition to the fleet of Hanseatic crane rental company Knaack – a Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1.

Built with an LTM 1230-5.1 belonging to the crane rental company Knaack Krane: the Global Gate in Hamburg.

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Crowned with four Ottifants: The Global Gate is the world’s largest mobile work of art.

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After the lift: Crane driver Uwe Schulz from Knaack-Krane next to the LTM 1230-5.1 in Hamburg.

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East Frisian comedian and artist Otto Waalkes (left) and art curator Marcus Schäfer (right) supervised construction of the Global Gate in Hamburg.

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A temporary attraction for Hamburg: The world’s largest mobile work of art – the Global Gate – has found its way to the Hanseatic city on the Elbe. The construction consisting of 37 sea containers has been on display in the port of Hamburg from mid-October until mid-November. With Global Gate, art curator Marcus Schäfer has created a platform to exhibit works beyond the traditional boundaries of galleries and museums. After stops in Dubai and Frankfurt, the containers were presented in the Hanseatic city, under the motto "Hello Hamburg! – Hallo Otto!", to accommodate numerous paintings by German comedian and artist Otto Waalkes. A Liebherr LTM 1230-5.1 mobile crane stacked the containers in the shape of the Brandenburg Gate and placed a quadriga of four “Ottifants”, designed in comic style by Otto Waalkes, on the 20-metre-high installation.

The entire construction, including the installation of the works, took four days. Proximity to the water, uneven ground and strong winds – due to the exposed location directly at the Cruise Center Altona, the construction of the Global Gate required precise logistics and technology. Equipped with 22 tonnes of ballast and a boom that was extended to 48 metres, the crane erected the work of art. The 5-axle crane had itself only been in use for four weeks: “The LTM 1230-5.1 is the perfect addition to our fleet of Liebherr cranes. The mobile crane with its long boom can be used for construction crane assembly in particular,” says Uwe Schulze, crane operator at Knaack Krane.

Stacked, screwed and clad

To ensure the stability of the installation, each of the 3.9-tonne containers was filled with sand and ballasted to a weight of 15 tonnes. In addition, supports with attached water tanks were welded to the containers in the lower row – to ensure the installation would withstand a storm surge. The containers, stacked with centimetre precision, were finally bolted together, and covered with an aluminium frame with a total length of 980 metres, to which the banners with works by Otto Waalkes were mounted. The installation will be on view until mid-November 2023.


Presseinformation Deutsch DOCX (568 KB)
Presseinformation Deutsch PDF (374 KB)
Press release English DOCX (567 KB)
Press release English PDF (491 KB)

Additional links

Mobile crane LTM 1230-5.1


Berenike Nordmann

Marketing and Communication

Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH

Dr.-Hans-Liebherr-Straße 1

89584 Ehingen