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British Smartwater used to protect antiquities in Syria Priceless antiquities in war torn Syria will be protected from being looted to fund ISIS atrocities thanks to a special invisible liquid invented by two British brothers.

Millions of pounds worth of coins, pottery, statues and other objects have been plundered from sites new pandora beads in Syria in recent years, including from the world famous Roman ruins at Palmyra. A large chunk of the proceeds has gone to ISIS, which has been heavily involved in dealings in 'blood antiques' as a way of financing pandora birthday charms its monstrous campaign of terror. Two brothers:Phil Cleary, (left) 63, and Mike, (right) 69 Phil and Mike's firm, which like their product is called SmartWater, already protects valuables in the UK, including in 440,000 homes in London through a contract with the Metropolitan Police signed in 2015. The pair have now adapted the recipe of their water so it does pandor charms not damage potentially priceless artefacts and are supplying it to a team of Syrians determined to protect their country's cultural heritage. The Syrian team is made up mainly of archeologists and is led by Dr Amr Al Azm, a Syrian born academic who was educated in Britain at University College London. He is currently professor of Middle East history at the University of Shawnee State, Ohio, in the US and in 2014 set up an organization to protect Syria's cultural heritage called The Day After Heritage Protection Initiative. Dr Al Azm's team, some of whom are his former colleagues and students, take small vials of liquid and daub it on to artefacts such as Roman coins, mosaics, cuneiform tablets and glassware with a brush or a spray. A historic mosaic from the UNESCO World Heritage designated site of the Dead Cities is now protected by SmartWater The first shipments of SmartWater started going into Syria earlier this year and are currently being used in opposition held territory controlled by opponents of President Assad, though the plan is to start using it also in ISIS held areas. 'That will be much more difficult and dangerous,' says Dr Al Azm. He believes that some of the artefacts being tagged with SmartWater in museums in Syria now were looted from ISIS held areas. Many objects stolen from Syria have already found their way into Western markets, including in London. As many antiquities could in theory have come from anywhere across the vast former Roman empire, dealers have been able to claim they did not know where the artefacts came from. If they have been marked with SmartWater, however, simply shining a UV light will reveal whether the object came from Syria and how recently it left the country. Part of a Burial Tomb recovered from the UNESCO World Heritage designated of the Dead Cities, now protected by SmartWater 'Once they pandora jewelry shop online are marked, if they ever show up on the market I can prove that this piece of stone or pottery came from Syria and when it was taken,' says Dr Al Azm. His team are working openly in museums in opposition held territory. They also meet looters and attend auctions of stolen goods where they surreptitiously mark objects with the potion. ISIS was at one point the world's richest terror group but experts believe its finances are dwindling as it cannot raise so much in taxes from conquered regions because it is losing ground. 'It is clear that the Islamic State's business model is failing,' said Peter Neumann of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at London University. In a recent report with accountancy firm EY, the ICSR found that ISIS's revenues have fallen by about 50 per cent over the past two years to just under 700m in 2016. Looting was 52 per cent of revenue in 2014 but had fallen to 20 per cent a year later. Archeological sites were being ransacked before ISIS, mainly by locals desperate to feed their families. However, ISIS built a bureaucracy around the ad hoc thievery. Jihadis set up a 'department of antiquities' that issued licences to looters, punishing people who went rifling for antiques without a permit. The warlords also imposed a 20 percent tax on any item sold. One prominent antiquarian scholar, Khalid Al Asaad, 82, was publicly beheaded for refusing to disclose the location of the hidden treasures of Palmyra, and at one stage, the revenues from the antiquities trade certainly appeared significant. Investigations suggested it was generating millions of pounds, with some artefacts even allegedly being sold on eBay. It is not clear how much money from the illicit trade went into ISIS coffers, and experts believe selling antiquities has diminished as a source of revenue. 'Nobody knows how much ISIS were making out of antiquities,' says Dr Al Azm. 'What I can tell you is that there are a lot of goods and some are extremely valuable, in the tens of thousands of dollars. For ISIS, our priceless cultural heritage is an exploitable resource. Their view is: loot what you can sell and destroy for propaganda what you cannot.' Until the Syrian project, SmartWater Technologies has concentrated on more conventional crime busting. The firm was set up in 1993 by Phil, a former police officer. He says the genius behind the firm is his brother Mike, who is now retired.

'He is a chartered chemist and he did the development of the water in his garage at home. I was just a police officer, a bog standard detective, frustrated at the number of burglaries and the fences who handle stolen goods.'.


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