Malta seeks shark tooth fossil presented to Prince George

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In this Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 photo released by Kensington Palace, Britain’s Prince William, centre, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, react with Naturalist David Attenborough, left, with their children, Prince George, seated, Princess Charlotte, right and Prince Louis, foreground, in the gardens of Kensington Palace in London after Prince William joined Attenborough to watch a private outdoor screening of his upcoming film – David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet. (Kensington Palace via AP)

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Malta says it will seek to retrieve a shark tooth that was presented to Britain’s Prince George by veteran broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough, who found the fossil during a holiday on the Mediterranean island in the 1960s.

Culture Minister Jose Herrera said he will “get the ball rolling” to bring back the tooth to be exhibited in a Maltese museum.

“There are some artifacts that are important to natural heritage which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved,” he told the Times of Malta.

The fossil, believed to be around 3 million years old, belonged to an extinct species of a giant shark that could grow up to 16 meters (about 50 feet), three times the size of modern great white sharks.

Attenborough, 94, presented the fossil to Prince George during a private viewing of his new documentary at Kensington Palace.

Photos released by the palace over the weekend showed the 7-year-old prince looking intrigued as he looked at the tooth. Malta is a former British colony that obtained independence in 1964.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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