The ILUCIDARE Consortium, including Europa Nostra, and the European Commission are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 edition of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes:

HAP4MARBLE – Marble Conservation by Hydroxyapatite, Italy – for excellence in Heritage-led Innovation. The project has developed a new treatment for the conservation of marble artworks in order to tackle the main weathering processes affecting marble heritage objects and architecture. It was funded by the European Commission through an individual high-level training-through-research fellowship under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, involving the University of Bologna, Princeton University and the University of Göttingen.

“The HAP4Marble technique is replicable and is being tested on a large scale in various locations. There has also been a positive social impact from this project with outreach being undertaken to communities and stakeholders outside of the research community”, the ILUCIDARE Jury noted.

EU-LAC Museums − Museums, Community & Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, United Kingdom – for excellence in Heritage-led International Relations. With support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme, EU-LAC Museums gathers an international team of 35 museum professionals, researchers and policy makers across the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Since 2014, this international collaboration has jointly developed new wisdom about museum community development, youth work, and digital curation, to examine and promote a vision of museums focused on community needs.

“EU-LAC is a well-established international network that shares cultural values through the management and care for cultural buildings and monuments. Not only do they represent an international collaboration between expert organisations, the network gradually built a community with many smaller organisations in several cultural sectors in different parts of the world, creating a common language through the identification of a common goal.” the ILUCIDARE Jury emphasised.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, addressed a congratulations message to the winners:
“The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes show us that cultural heritage does not only belong to our past. It is a field capable of  pushing forward pushing back the limits of scientific and technological innovation in order to protect our shared heritage assets for the enjoyment of present and future generations. We will need more of these cross-disciplinary, intercultural and intercontinental relations for an inclusive and sustainable global recovery, especially for the cultural and heritage ecosystem. Both winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes demonstrate the importance and leading role of our heritage institutions and universities. I applaud these heritage heroes for their innovative and talented mindsets and warmly congratulate them for their achievements.”

The winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes were selected by the ILUCIDARE partners among the submitted applications to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021. Nine projects had been shortlisted for the final run of the Special Prizes.

“The winners of this second edition of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes embody the high quality and the multifaceted creativity of the heritage sector. Whether it comes to solving complex technical issues in the backdrop of increasingly challenging environmental conditions or to foster community-based relationships between organisations in Europe and abroad. The ILUCIDARE community is proud to count you on board and we look forward to continuing working with you to developing your projects,” said Koen Van Balen, coordinator of the ILUCIDARE project (KU Leuven, Belgium).

The winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes 2021 have just been celebrated – together with the laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2021 (read related press release) – during a ceremony at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice. The European Heritage Awards Ceremony gathered heritage stakeholders and enthusiasts, policy-makers, researchers and (young) entrepreneurs from across Europe and beyond. The ceremony was livestreamed via

The European Heritage Awards Ceremony is among the main events of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2021. The Venice Summit is organised by Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural Heritage – with the support of the European Union and in collaboration with other European and Italian partners. The Summit is held under the patronage of the European Parliament, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Italian Ministry of Culture.