Skip to main content

Culture and Creativity



The HAP4MARBLE project was fully funded under the Horizon 2020 programme. It was aimed at developing a new multi-functional treatment for the conservation of marble artworks in cultural heritage, and particularly at preventing marble dissolution, arresting marble bowing, repairing of sugaring marble and developing self-cleaning abilities.

Budget size:
Source of funding:

Marble has been widely used in architecture and sculpture since antiquity, but it is subject to several deterioration processes, some of which are predicted to worsen due to the impact of climate change. Moreover, all the currently available treatments for conservation of marble present some significant limitations, in terms of efficacy, compatibility and/or durability.

The project was aimed at multi-functionalising a recently proposed biomimetic treatment based on formation of hydroxyapatite (HAP, the main constituent of human teeth and bones), by reaction of marble with an aqueous phosphate solution. The achievement of the project objectives was made possible by a multi-disciplinary research activity, combining different competences and laboratory facilities. The obtained results were published in 14 scientific publications with open access, 7 articles in high-level journals and 7 contributions in international conference proceedings. The project also contributed to make European citizens, including school children, more aware of the cultural and economic importance of monuments and of the challenges connected to their conservation, thanks to the extensive outreach activities carried out during the project.