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Keep shark tooth, Malta tells Britain's Prince George



Valletta  /  Tue, September 29, 2020  /  06:30 pm
Keep shark tooth, Malta tells Britain's Prince George

An handout photograph released by Kensington Palace on September 26, 2020, taken on September 24, 2020 in London, shows Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George (seated), Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with Sir David Attenborough (L) in the gardens of Kensington Palace in London after The Duke and Sir David attended an outdoor screening of Sir David's upcoming feature film. (Kensington Palace/AFP/File)

Malta, making a rapid U-turn, said on Tuesday Britain's Prince George was welcome to keep a fossilized shark tooth that was given to him by veteran naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

The 23-million-year-old fossil was discovered by Attenborough in Malta when he was holidaying on the Mediterranean island in the 1960s.

He gave it to George, 7, at the weekend, raising the hackles of some Maltese, who thought the tooth should be returned to them. Culture Minister Jose Herrera said on Monday he would "set the ball rolling" in retrieving the tooth, but the plan rapidly ran aground.

"It is not (our) intention to pursue this matter any further," a ministry spokesman said, without giving any explanation for the abrupt change of heart.

Herrera's move on Monday had raised some negative comments on social media, with critics pointing out that fossilized teeth of megalodon sharks can be bought for less than 50 euros.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, son of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered in Malta three years ago, wrote on Twitter that Herrera should be campaigning to tackle graft rather than try to take a present from a child. 

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