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Risk management for sustainable restoration of immovable cultural heritage, part 1: PRM framework

Nur Atakul (Department of Architecture, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Muhammad Jamaluddin Thaheem (Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico di Torino. Turin, Italy)
Alberto De Marco (Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 17 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to introduce and develop a knowledge base for the restoration industry to understand and deal with risks arising in restoration projects in a sustainable way. Restoration projects face a number of risks and are viewed unfavorably. The research study, therefore, is expected to generate interest and debate among the professional and researcher community in the arena of restoration of built cultural heritage for formally applying Project Management (PM) and Project Risk management (PRM) theories and practices.


The research method consists of reviewing published literature and analyzing the dynamics of restoration industry (both from academic and practitioner point of view) in order to propose an application framework. Building upon and taking inspiration from the fundamentals of Construction Management, the proposed framework aims at methodically applying risk management within the proposed PM stages.


Research results confirm that the restoration industry has not yet exposed to formal PM and PRM theories and practices to a greater level. The restoration projects are not necessarily so sustainable in their approach. Thus, there is enormous impetus and ensuing incentive for incorporating the formal theories and customized tools.

Research limitations/implications

This research attempts to target the exceedingly important area of cultural heritage restoration and the missing aspect of PM and PRM. Further, the proposed framework is an attempt at bridging communication gaps between management and restoration experts. Thus, it highlights the importance of scientifically and effectively managing restoration projects. Nevertheless, this uniting attempt has its own risks in terms of terminologies, technical language, and the understanding of risk and its management which may be the effective limitations. Since in the field of engineering as well, the foundation of PM and PRM areas of knowledge finds its traces in Construction Management – which is further an application of management in construction engineering – therefore, it is rather challenging to reconcile knowledge from different areas.

Practical implications

The paper explores issues concerning sustainability of restoration projects based on their use of PM and PRM. Results are expected to help stakeholders of restoration projects understand and apply the proposed PRM framework. This study is also aimed to develop a foundation for dissemination of PM and PRM knowledge in the restoration industry, and provide an impetus for future studies to examine how restoration projects can deal with risky situations.

Social implications

The paper explores the sustainable development aspects of restoration projects in order to help stakeholders of built cultural heritage make critical decisions because if not managed properly, risks in a restoration project may either cause project failure or damage the historical buildings. Therefore, from a sustainable perspective, it is imperative that stakeholders identify, analyze, control and manage risks before commencing the restoration activities.


The study is an original effort in examining the penetration of PM and PRM practices in restoration industry. Based on it, the study proposes an original framework for application of formal PRM for restoration projects. Results are of relevance in today's world where risks hinder and sustainability guides the decision making.



The authors are grateful to Professor Marika Mangosio for her active collaboration in the research, team of Valentino castle Restoration Project and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for funding under UESTP-Italy/UET Project.


Atakul, N., Thaheem, M.J. and De Marco, A. (2014), "Risk management for sustainable restoration of immovable cultural heritage, part 1: PRM framework", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 149-165.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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