In 2004, Dirk Roggan of Hamburg visited Fermignano, where he came upon the book the town had produced for the year 2000. Back in Germany he visited his friends, Claas Spitz and Alexandra Sprockhoff in Lüchow, his town of birth, and showed them the Italian book. So the idea was born to do something similar for Lüchow’s 850th anniversary in 2008. The little group started to plan: they obtained financing, and when photographer Bianca Schoebel accepted the task of photographing the 10 000 villagers, it was the beginning of the project 2008850 – Lüchows schönste Seiten.
Eberhard (Ebse) Schmidt, who through his years of coaching sport came to know almost every person in the village, was appointed the chief organiser.
The project took 21/2 years. On a beautiful Sunday in October 2007, the first 3 000 books, each weighing 3,5 kilograms,
were brought to the market square by two trucks. In Lüchow the book brought a spirit of optimism and the people realised how much could be done through their own iniative. Financially the book has resulted in a profit of 50 000 euro, which were put into a trust fund, the Lüchower Bürgerstiftung.
“We all know books on villages depicting street scenes and buildings. But Lüchow lives through its people, and we wanted to show the village’s human face. That will be a real work of art,” the organisers say.
Photos of the Combined exhibition in Lüchow: