It was a generous gift with the best of intentions. But it seemed to have backfired on naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
Over the weekend, Attenborough gifted Prince George a special fossil during a private viewing of his new Netflix documentary at Kensington Palace.
According to Bang Showbiz, the 94-year-old broadcaster joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children – Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2 – at Kensington Palace to watch “A Life On Our Planet”, and he took the opportunity to give a fossilised giant tooth from an extinct shark to the young royal.
Now, it appears the government of Malta was not too impressed with Attenborough’s gesture and is demanding the prehistoric shark tooth be given back and put on display in the island where it was discovered, Reuters reported.
Attenborough found the fossil during a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s, Kensington Palace said. It was embedded in soft yellow limestone, and is believed to be about 23 million years old.
The fossil originated from a Carcharocles megalodon, a shark that was once a sea predator.
But 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.
“There are some artefacts that are important to Maltese natural heritage and which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved,” Herrera told the Times of Malta.