The excavator was used at the Tagebau Meuro mine from 1965 to 2002.
After it was withdrawn from service, the municipalities Senftenberg, Großräschen, and Schipkau decided on a joint action to preserve the opencast mining machine. Between 29 August to 15 September 2003, Bagger 1473 was moved approximately 8.5 kilometres (5.3 mi) from the Meuro mine to near the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, where it would serve as a monument to the area's former lignite mining. The machine was moved across industrial roads and railways owned by the LMBV but public traffic was not affected.
In January 2019 the municipalities that supported its move announced that the excavator was to be scrapped. Their decision was mainly due to the machine's dilapidation and damage. It was financially impossible to maintain and because vandalism and theft had become so extensive, the structure was no longer safe for people. Parts of the excavator would be preserved, such as its wheel.
However, when the Brandenburg Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (State Office for the Preservation of Monuments) and state archaeological museum learned of the planned demolition from news reports, they issued a statement the excavator had acknowledged historical structure protection since 2002/2003. Although at that time, it was simply assumed that it was unnecessary to formally place it on the list of such structures. The fact that the structure was identified as historically significant was considered sufficient to declare it as protected. The Landesamt quickly made it official in February.
Constructive discussions about the future of Bagger 1473 are ongoing with the local municipalities and communities. Despite imminent demolition work being prevented, it remains unclear how the structure can be preserved and who will have financial responsibility.
- "Bergbauwahrzeichen soll erhalten bleiben" [Mining landmark to be retained]. Lausitzer Rundschau (in German). 16 December 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "LMBV-Schaufelradbagger auf letzter Fahrt" [Final journey for LMBV bucket-wheel excavator] (in German). Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft (LMBV). 28 August 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Bagger 258: The "Blue Wonder"". Atlas Obscura. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Letzte Reise für das "Blaue Wunder" vom Lausitzring" [Last journey for the "Blue Wonder" at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz]. Lausitzer Rundschau (in German). 11 January 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Hörlitzer Schaufelradbagger ist jetzt ein Denkmal" [Hörlitz bucket-wheel excavator is now a monument]. Lausitzer Woche (in German). 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
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