Important legal notice
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Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage - Conserving our common legato
“Developing new coatings to protect Europe’s historic buildings and monuments from graffiti.”

The problem

Graffiti is a scourge of the urban environment that diminishes people’s quality of life. Europe’s spray-can artists are not just causing aesthetic problems: graffiti interacts with building materials to create lasting damage. Europe’s historic monuments are at particular risk because they are made of porous stone, brick and mortar. Unfortunately the coatings currently available to protect surfaces against graffiti are not appropriate for these kinds of buildings. Therefore new anti-graffiti products are needed to protect Europe’s precious architectural heritage.

GRAFFITAGE  Protecting historic buildings from the scourge of graffiti


The main objective of the project is to develop a new generation of anti-graffiti coatings that can protect historic/ancient monuments. The project will:

  • Create products offering permanent protection in outdoor conditions and that are reversible to specially designed cleaning systems. The new coatings must be transparent in appearance. They must also be impermeable to liquid water, although they have to be permeable to water vapour
  • Assess the new anti-graffiti coatings, comparing them to those currently available
  • Evaluate the technical and socio-economic impact of the new products on cultural heritage materials

Contribution to policy development:

  • The Maastricht Treaty stipulates that it is important to preserve and enhance cultural heritage of
    European significance.
  • The European Union recognises the importance of cultural tourism for job creation, improving the quality of life, and as a means of helping
    less-developed regions.
  • By seeking to protect ancient buildings, the project supports EU sustainable development and urban environment policies.

Project deliverables

  • Reports on the advances made in synthesising the ingredients for the new anti-graffiti system, and its liquid formulation – February and August 2006/2007
  • Basic lab and durability tests for the anti-graffiti coatings – May 2007 and February 2008
  • Final formulation of the new anti-graffiti system for different porous substrates – February 2008
  • Assessment of the expected socio-economic impact of the new system – June 2008
  • Field testing of the new anti-graffiti system – July 2008
  • Final project report – August 2008


  • Creation of project website – December 2005
  • Publication of project brochure – December 2005
  • Producing a dissemination plan – February 2006
  • Holding two project workshops – February 2006 and July 2008
  • Holding two international conferences at end of project – July 2008

Technical information

Project acronym: GRAFFITAGE
Project’s official full title: Development of a New Anti-graffiti System Based on Traditional Concepts, Preventing Damage of Architectural Heritage Materials
Research priority: 3.6. The protection of cultural heritage and associated conservation strategies
Specific webpage: Not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 513718
Start date: 1 August 2005
Kick off meeting: 12 September 2005
Completion date: 1 August 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Adèle Lydon,

Name: Fundación Labein
Abbreviated name: LABEIN
Address: Parque Tecnológico de Bizkaia c/Geldo, EDIFICIO 700
48160 Derio (Bizkaia)
Country: Spain
Tel: +34 94 607 33 00
Fax: +34 94 607 33 49


Name: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Abbreviated name: FhG-IAP
Country: Germany

Name: Zakland Karbochemii Polska Academia Nauk
Abbreviated name: ZKPAN
Country: Poland

Name: Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
Abbreviated name: BAM
Country: Germany

Name: Belgian Building Research Institute
Abbreviated name: BBRI
Country: Belgium

Name: Centro Interdipalarmentale di Scienza e Tecnica per la Conservazione del Patrimonio Storico-Architecttonico
Abbreviated name: CISTeC
Country: Italy

Name: Zavod za gradbeništvo Slovenije
Abbreviated name: ZAG
Country: Slovenia

Abbreviated name: NORTECH
Country: Germany

Name: Restauraciones Siglo XXI, S.L.
Abbreviated name: Restauraciones Siglo XXI

Name: Exmo. Ayuntamiento de Bilbao
Abbreviated name: Ayto-Bilbao
Country: Spain