Malta has claimed back a prehistoric shark tooth that was given as a present to Britain’s Prince George by environmentalist Sir David Attenborough. He found the tooth on a family holiday to the island more than 50 years ago.
The demand came following the release of images of the delighted seven-year-old examining the treasure released by Kensington Palace. Attenborough visited the Royal Family for a private viewing of his new environmental documentary.
As per reports, Malta, a British colony until 1964, said the fossil should be put on display on the island where it was discovered.
Attenborough found the fossil during a family vacation to Malta in the late 1960s, the palace said. The fossilised tooth was embedded in soft yellow limestone and is believed to be about 23 million years old.
Reportedly, it once belonged to a Carcharocles megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark that could grow up to 16 metres (52 feet) long.
However, Maltese Culture Minister Jose Herrera said the tooth should be in a local museum and promised to “set the ball rolling” to get it back to were it was originally evacuated.
“There are some artifacts that are important to Maltese natural heritage and which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved,” Herrera told the Times of Malta.
“We rightly give a lot of attention to historical and artistic artifacts. However, it is not always the case with our natural history. I am determined to direct a change in this attitude,” the minister added.