Effective marble conservation: HAP4MARBLE project

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HAP4MARBLE was a research conservation project, concluded in 2018,  developing a new treatment for marble artworks. Marble, as monumental and permanent as it appears, in reality, suffers from high degradation from the environment magnified by climate change. The project synthesised an invisible HAP(hydroxyapatite) coat, which protects against weathering processes.

The prevention of marble degradation and available treatments were limited in terms of efficacy, compatibility and durability. Some of the main threats are sugaring, soiling, dissolution and bowing that this treatment tackles.

 ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 shortlisted the project this June.  ILUCIDARE is a European project aiming at heritage innovation and diplomacy under Horizon 2020 for three years.  Partners mainly form Europe with a shared vision work to reward best practices and promote their aims within the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

HAP4MARBLE project

Multi-functionalization of hydroxyapatite for restoration and preventive conservation of marble artworks. (2015-2018)

A research fellowship funded by the EU in collaboration with Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, University of Bologna, Princeton University and the University of Göttingen. The international multidisciplinary collaboration merged materials science, biomaterials, micro-mechanics and petrophysics with cultural heritage conservation.  Dr Enrico Sassoni was the beneficiary of the fellowship conducting training through research. Furthermore, the research accompanied several Outreach Activities promoting heritage conservation and science.


HAP, hydroxyapatite, is a calcium phosphate, the main component of human teeth and bones less soluble than marble. The biometric treatment is crack and pore-free, maintaining self-cleaning over an extended period. Application on the marble’s surface prevents dissolution and heat damage.

Keeping it light, you can learn more details about the research here. Truly fascinating.

Our take

HAP4MARBLE is a fantastic and encompassing conservation initiative. The treatment itself has started to be actively applied across Italy hopefully, more people will learn about it. Moreover, the research project itself serves as a great learning environment example, covering different fields and countries resulting, evidently, in innovative and vital heritage tools.

I want to learn more:


Invisible coating to protect Europe’s priceless marble artworks

Research Activity

ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021– ILUCIDARE [link no longer available 02/07/2022]

ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021: 9 projects in heritage-led innovation and international relations shortlisted 

Website ILUCIDARE [link no longer available 02/07/2022]

International network for Leveraging sUccessful Cultural heritage Innovations and Diplomacy, cApacity building and awaREness raising

ILUCIDARE project on heritage-led innovation and diplomacy kicks-off in Leuven

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