The fossil David Attenborough gifted to Prince George? Malta wants it back.

cambridge atten2

The way the British Empire used to work is that any white British dude could walk into any country, brazenly loot all of their antiquities and historic treasures, bring those treasures to Britain, put them in a museum (or their “country estate”) and then nothing would happen. Embassies, consulates, diplomats and historians would just run into a brick wall of British imperialism whenever they tried to say “actually those treasures belong to the country you looted.” It’s not quite the same these days, but there are still any number of fights over who “owns” which antiquities. The same goes for fossils now too – no one can, say, walk into Kazakhstan and start digging and then bring all of the fossils back to America or England or wherever.

I bring all of this up because Kensington Palace made a really big deal about Sir David Attenborough’s visit to screen his new Netflix documentary to the Cambridge family. Attenborough brought a gift for Prince George: a tooth fossil that Attenborough himself found in the 1960s… in Malta. Now Malta wants the tooth back.

Malta wants back a prehistoric shark tooth that was given as a present to Britain’s Prince George by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, saying the fossil should be put on display in the island where it was discovered. Kensington Palace announced the gift on Saturday, saying the giant tooth was given to the seven-year-old prince when Attenborough attended a private viewing of his latest environmental documentary with members of the royal family.

Attenborough found the fossil during a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s, the palace said. It was embedded in soft yellow limestone, and is believed to be about 23 million years old.

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.

“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, without giving details of how he intended to recover the fossil. The tooth once belonged to a megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark that could grow up to 16 metres (52 feet).

“We rightly give a lot of attention to historical and artistic artefacts. However, it is not always the case with our natural history. I am determined to direct a change in this attitude,” the minister said. Malta was a British colony until 1964.

[From Reuters]

Yeah. The fossil should be returned. I’m sure there are laws and regulations about the dates of which fossils or antiquities were smuggled out of the country, and it’s possible that Attenborough’s fossil could conceivably be grandfathered in on a technicality. But it’s the right thing to do is to simply return the tooth to Malta. Then return the Koh-I-Noor to India. Return the “Elgin Marbles” to Greece. And on and on. It’s not even a personal thing to Prince William and Prince George – surely, it could be a learning experience for the Cambridge kids about looting and fossils and art.

cambridge atten

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace.

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118 Responses to “The fossil David Attenborough gifted to Prince George? Malta wants it back.”

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  1. bluemoonhorse says:

    A couple of things to unpack. Confirmed that the gift was only for George. And that British white people with money and fame still don’t get it.

    • Sofia says:

      Oh this whole thing is absolutely shitty. Another generation of dysfunction and making the heir feel like he’s more important and his life is worth more has begun.

    • HeyJude says:

      Right? Even in the photo poor little Louis is staring at the gift quite interested in it and is just left out.

      That photo struck me as so sad.

      • minx says:

        Same, poor Louis. You just don’t do that.

      • FC says:

        Parenting 101: If you don’t have enough shark teeth for all your kids, no one gets a shark tooth.

      • MerryGirl says:

        And what about Charlotte – the sexism is so evident that girls don’t count for scientific gifts. But overall, if you have 3 kids, you bring gifts for all 3 not just the heir, this is perpetuating the whole heir vs. spare all over again in a new generation.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Maybe Attenborough was told that George would be the only child there and it was a last minute decision to bring in the other kids. It was still a bad idea if he only gifted something to George. The gift was such a bad choice too. He should have brought a pair of shark socks or an alligator toothbrush or something silly.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I guess Attenborough is not above kissing royal @ss and purchasing their favor, or in perpetuating “white makes right” mentality.

  2. Lala11_7 says:

    😂😅🤪…Imagine that in 2020…THEY ARE STILL ACTING LIKE COLONIZERS!!! 🤬😁😡

    • bamaborn says:

      It’s Attenborough. What adult would give a million year old relic to a 7 year old? Just stop by Walmart or Britain’s equivalent, give the boy a toy and avoid the controversy. These people! Beginning to wonder if that whole island’s IQ hovers in the 70 percentile range.

  3. lucy2 says:

    I enjoy going through museums, but it is depressing to see all of that stuff taken from other countries like that. I remember walking through the Vatican museum and being kind of appalled by what they had.

    • My3cents says:

      Yes, I remember walking through there and being awed by everything, and then reminding myself of all that was stolen, looted or how they just taxed the poor people to death in the best scenario. Everything seeped in blood.

    • Amy Bee says:

      The British Museum is the same. Every artefact was stolen and given to the reigning monarch at the time.

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        In this day and age as families that suffered from the horrific atrocities of Hitler and their personal looting of families treasures of paintings and other valuables, most of the heirs had to fight hard to reinstate proper ownership, but it was heavily promoted and encouraged that their rightful owners be restored. Yet when it comes to the British former territories, they feel that they are exempt from returning treasures from long ago. I remember reading about magnificent gems, one of its kind, that the Monarch refuse to return. As if their greediness, force of control and empowerment wasn’t enough for the native countrymen to also loot them of their worldly gems and consider it their property. What a farce and an absolute disgrace they have committed to countries worldwide.

      • L84Tea says:

        It’s funny that this whole topic has come up because this past weekend I was looking at the instagram stories of a woman I follow–she’s English but lives in California, and is currently back in England with her family through the end of the year–and she showed all kinds of photos from the British Museum. She also gave captions explaining all the countries who want their things back. I was baffled at the quote responses from Britain–essentially, they’re like, ‘well, let’s talk about that’. It’s so shitty.

    • MF1 says:

      Me too RE: the Vatican Museum. Not only was a lot of the art stolen, but the Church is sitting on billions of dollars worth of assets while people in Catholic-majority countries are starving. Imagine the good they could do with that kind of money.

    • Lauren says:

      I was honestly more shocked by the Pergamon and Neues Museums in Berlin. They have some of the most extraordinary ruins and pieces I have ever seen and most of it stolen. The audioguides of the museums even explain how and with what trickery they were taken to Germany.
      The Vatican museum is a bit more peculiar, I used to work in collaboration with the museums until last year and know a lot of the guides that work inside. Most of the ruins there are from ancient Rome, a lot of the other non-roman pieces where actually brought by ancient romans and were dug up during excavations from the 1500 onwards (some exceptions are the Egyptian collection, the Egyptian collection still though has a lot of roman created replicas). Then you have rooms that the various too many popes paid artists to decorate and all the religious pieces that were made for churches that then ended up in the vatican collections. It is by pure technicality that they get to keep them, but oh well. My point is that most pieces inside the Vatican were either made in Italy in ancient times or have been in italian soil for a good millennia or two.

  4. MT says:

    I often wonder if it ever crosses the minds of Will + Kate that their entire wealth is built from looting, murder and conquests. How do they reconcile the gems and such in their possession? Each and every one was stolen.

  5. Kalana says:

    LMAO! Give the tooth back!

    Oh dear me, so political! So disrespectful! The courtiers must be wringing their hands!

    Would the good people of Malta also like some directors chairs? William’s got a few.

    OMG, thank you. This story made my whole day.

  6. Bibi says:

    Exactly what I was thinking. Anything you fond in the country’s water, fossils, remnants of sunken ships etc etc etc is gov property. I has a friend who is a diver in the Mediterranean and they are not allowed to take anything that is found. Or make sure not to have it in the news. Poor georges. But Georges is going to bring it back as a kind gesture i’m sure, and he’ll do it himself. Kate will have free vacation to malta so of course that tooth will be brought back in no time!!! lol

    • kgeo says:

      If it was my kid, I think he’d understand. You just say “This was something that wasn’t Mr. Attenborough’s to give. He made a mistake in taking it in the first place, and the rightful owner misses it very much. Think how much you would hurt if you left blankie at a friend’s house and then saw another kid snuggling it a few days later. Wouldn’t you hope they would understand and give blankie back? Maybe we can visit and look at it once in a while and get ice cream afterwards.” Boom, done.

  7. Mouki's wife says:

    I wondered about gifting such an important artifact to a child, but also, what about gifts for the other kids? All around a really poor PR move. Give it back to Malta. Being royal doesn’t mean being able to openly steal or accept stolen property anymore. It’s not the turn of the 19th century!

    • Becks1 says:

      Agreed – this just looks bad all around. How did no one clear this? Even if Attenborough brought the gift for George, they could have not mentioned that in the social media posts. Now you have an important artifact that Malta wants back (and that’s going to draw attention to all the other stuff the royal family has from other countries that they wont give back), and it’s bringing even more attention to the fact that George is treated differently.

    • Mac says:

      Megalodon teeth aren’t rare. Malta is making this request as part of its broader effort to have artifacts looted by the French and British returned to them. I hope this helps them make their case. The country was stripped of anything remotely interesting to colonizers.

      • FicklePickle says:

        Ooooo, I didn’t even think of the strategic points of this request. If the BRF refuses, they look like dicks in front of the world. If they agree to Malta’s request it would likely be interpreted as some measure of support by the BRF for Malta and other country’s repatriation efforts. Clever move.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        They Cambridges will never give the tooth back to Malta because if they did it would be admitting that Sir David Attenborough did something wrong.

  8. SKF says:

    Most of the great museums of Europe are chock-a-block with pillaged items. From former colonies, countries they “explored” and invaded, and from each other.

    In Greece there are many places where you see a plaque commemorating something that was pinched and is now in the UK, France or Germany. The Venus de Milo in the Louvre is in fact the Aphrodite of Milos and was pillaged from there. Some things the French blew up because, according to locals, they didn’t want Greece having too much. It goes on and on.

    Here, in Australia, we are occasionally “lent” pieces that have enormous meaning to us that have NEVER been on display in the UK and live in warehouses. And then we have to send them back.

    But the most appalling one, is that the British Museum refuses to give back the casts they made of the head of Truganini – a famous First Nations woman, as well as the remains of other ancestors still held by various medical and academic institutions in the UK which aboriginal representatives have long wanted back.

    • A says:

      This always makes me think of the bit from Last Week Tonight. John Oliver did a small segment on the Koh-i-noor, and talked about how they can’t give one thing back, because if they did, they’d have to give everything back. And then the only things left in the British Museum would be King Henry VIII’s underwear, and no one’s going to come and see that.

      • Becks1 says:

        Remember the acceptance speech at the BAFTAs – I cant remember who it was, but one person said something in his speech about “bringing some of the gold back home” or something. It was a pointed remark considering the FFK was sitting right there.

      • Lou says:

        @Becks1 that was Taika Waititi!

    • Thirtynine says:

      I was going to mention this too, skf. It’s not just fossils and works of art they put in their museums. We finally got 37 of our Australian Aboriginal ancestral remains back last year. Over the years we’ve managed to get over 1200 back from the UK. They have to be taken back to their lands and reburied ceremonially. There are no words for how much I hate what they did to Australia.

  9. LittlePenguin says:

    Where I live people find dinosaur bones all the time. And the law states “If you live in Alberta, and legally surface collected, you may keep the material as a custodian of the fossil, although ownership remains with the Province of Alberta”. This means they can ask for them for research/display purposes at any time. I think Malta is going for something like this – and they should! “You found it, great, now we want it back for our purposes!”

  10. Snuffles says:

    Dude, when I was in Hawaii, we weren’t even allowed to take a lava rock as a souvenir because it was against the rules. There were signs everywhere AND the tour guide repeated it.

    The Brits still have a colonizer mind set and think nothing of it. That sh*t won’t play today. Honestly, I hope EVERY Commonwealth country not only divests themselves from the UK but demand all of their sh*t back in the process.

    • AMM says:

      I lived in Bahrain for a bit and couldn’t even take sand home with me. Just basic, beige beach sand was off limits.

  11. S808 says:

    2020 and they’re still looting from other countries.

  12. Coco says:

    I feel this is different than the Elgin marbles or Maori heads. This fossil dates from tens of millions of years before humans evolved as a species, and it seems that Attenborough found it himself, he didn’t force Maltese citizens to dig for him. Also, it doesn’t seem like this shark’s fossils have only ever been found in Malta. I agree that countries should be aware of and make deals with scientists on official digs, but this seems akin to taking a seashell home from vacation.

    • Merricat says:

      If the beaches were littered with fossils, I might agree with you, but they are not and I don’t. Just because the object of interest isn’t made by humans doesn’t mean the country of origin has no rights of ownership.

      • Coco says:

        I have no problem with them making the request for the return. Personally, I think there are far more important categories, first of which is human remains, when calling For repatriation.

      • Merricat says:

        Fair enough. I see your point. Kind of.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Taking seashells home from vacation is illegal in many countries. I would assume Malta has similar laws.

      • Coco says:

        That’s true. There may not have been any restrictions against it, or against setting up your own fossil dig, in Malta at the time. It could be used as a teachable moment, “in 1960, and for a long time before, we didn’t realize that we don’t have the right to unfettered Individual access to loot historical sites.”

    • A says:

      Yeah, somehow I don’t think this was the same as finding a seashell on a beach.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      Sir David Attenborough is a natural historian. If it wasn’t illegal to pick it up in 1960, you’d think he would have some self-awareness at this day and time, that removing artifacts because you can is not a good idea and certainly you shouldn’t be doing when promoting his “David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet.”

      It shows that he is an old crock who thinks rules don’t apply to him. But you know, all us other schleps? We should save the planet and care for it.

  13. Noki says:

    Its not really nice to only gift one child openly infront of the others,well i hope he brought a little something for them also.

    • Kalana says:

      Their fans will approve. They think the problem with Harry was that he wasn’t left out more so he could understand from a young age that William would always be favored over him.

  14. Lizzie says:

    This was a fail on so many levels it’s quite staggering. Typical Cambridge style. Sussex’s are ROTFL. But I’m sure Rage Prince’s copycat documentary will be just great.

    • My3cents says:

      This totally blew up. Instead of everyone talking about the keen enviromantalist we have the keen colonizer.
      This is 2020 not 1820 you don’t just gift someone looted artifacts.

      • Lizzie says:

        Haven’t the palace courtiers been shouting that they are indispensable because they have the foresight to stop these blunders? That is supposed to be why they wanted to review H&M’s contracts.

  15. BeanieBean says:

    My first thought at reading the headline was, ‘love it!’. Good for Malta. Their natural history is aa important as their cultural history. It would be a great learning opportunity for the Cambridge kids for them to return that tooth to Malta, but will they? Nah, they’ve got tone-deaf parents.

  16. Lizzie says:

    It’s almost like those palace courtiers, who tell us they are known for their foresight and ability to head off international incidents, are just full of it. But thanks for the Netflix shout out, again today.

  17. Le4Frimaire says:

    Well I wasn’t expecting that. They should give it back and Attenborough should have checked to see if he even should have given this. The fact is no one should be gifting the royals anything unless it is an official capacity, because it can be construed as bribery or currying favor. My husband has a contact with a government agency and they are told not to gift anything above $25, so it’s the cookie tin with a thank you card at Christmas. Same with my former corporate job. Around the holidays they sent out a big reminder about employees accepting gifts or even meals from clients. They should quietly return it to Attenborough and let him deal with Malta.

  18. A says:

    1- Speaking of British people thieving shit that doesn’t belong to them, and then hiding those items in their country estates–that is what Lord Carnarvon of Tutankhamun fame did. He stole a bunch of shit, lied about it, hid it in his estate, and his son only found out after he’d died and they were doing an appraisal of the estate.

    I usually do not believe in curses or anything supernatural. There are only a few exceptions I make for this. One is Ouija boards. The other is my firm belief that Tutankhamun definitely cursed the hell out of this motherfucker and zapped him dead from on yonder. Dying from nicking your mosquito bite while shaving? That’s some real revenge from the grave type shit.

    2- “Attenborough found the fossil during a family holiday to Malta in the late 1960s” What a benign way to describe this shit, lol. “found” during a “family vacation.” Yeah right. You don’t just find this shit on family vacations. He went and dug for it, and then kept it because he could. Fuck all the way off, David Attenborough.

    3- With the Koh-i-noor diamond, this is one of the things that I do think people should be careful of. There are multiple claims to the Koh-i-noor diamond. India is just the most famous one. People need to keep in mind that when the British thieved it, the country was a different entity than what it is today. This makes the question of returning it to India specifically something of a debacle.

    Personally, I think that the thing is cursed af. The last time it was in the possession of Indians, the British showed up. Now the British have it. And Brexit happened. And then Meghan and Harry left. And now BoJo is prime minister. Coincidence? Haha, no. You reap what you sow, dipshits.

  19. Well-Wisher says:

    The response from Malta was as it should be.
    I remember that part of Duchess Meghan ancestry originated from Malta.

    • Mtec says:

      Ohh yes! I had forgotten that! Good connection you just made. Not saying it means anything, just find it a funny coincidence.

  20. Florence says:

    My family is from Malta so I have some skin in this game.

    Give it back you coloniser shits. Our history is NOT a gift for your pampered princeling.

    They can’t help themselves can they?!

  21. Wendy says:

    Imagine the headline had this been gifted to the Sussexes- MM has stolen fossil- this threatens war with Malta or some BS like that

  22. Mina_Esq says:

    I wonder how the legal aspects of this would work. I’m no constitutional scholar, but Malta didn’t become a republic until 1974. Prior to that, that beach on which that fossil was found would have been crown land that the Queen owned in right of Malta. I think it’s a situation that’s different from that of a guy stealing rocks from Greece. The optics of the whole thing, however, are obviously very bad and the artifact should be returned.

    • BeanieBean says:

      The article says 1964. And Elgin received a permit (firmat) from whatever Ottoman Turk was in charge of Greece at the time. All of which is beside the point. You can’t just go to other countries & start digging around for fossils, which is what Attenborough did. He knew what he was doing & didn’t care. Malta may not have had laws in place regarding palaeontological finds at the time, but they do now. This tooth is meaningless to Attenborough, to the Cambridges, & would be easy to return, gaining them good will & PR.

    • Chrissy says:

      I am Maltese. You are correct. The Maltese are very proud of their commonwealth history. They love the British. There isn’t much contention there.

    • Nic919 says:

      Crown land would transfer to the republic itself. In Canada any land treaties made by the British crown prior to 1867 then became the responsibility of the canadian government. Same principle would happen here.

  23. LAR says:

    I thought that the headline was calling David Attenborough the fossil :) .

  24. Ines says:

    The British never return the shit they’ve stolen.

  25. nettie says:

    This looks so BAD. Give the fossil back you fools. I mean surely someone with half a brain thought this was a piss poor idea.

  26. antipodean says:

    It seems weirdly prescient that I was just reading about some doofus who carved his name onto a column in the Coliseum!!! Could be interpreted as the same “overlord” mindset that most of the European Colonisers had?

  27. Nicole r says:

    I don’t know if this is a special megalodon tooth or something but my six year old bought (with his own birthday and chore money) his for less than $100. There were bigger and higher quality teeth for $200 or $300. Unless I’m missing something this isn’t a priceless artifact… If it’s a point about taking things without asking that’s one thing (and a valid point) but the impression given that it would be displayed in a museum is not exactly accurate.

    • Merricat says:

      Just to clarify, an artifact/artefact is an human-made object. This would be a fossil. And I do think the point is that the British uppercrust tend to take whatever they like, and too bad for the country of origin.

    • Sue M says:

      Nicole and Merricat are correct. Not an artifact. Artifacts are human manufactured objects. I think both the commentators as well as me have an archaeology background. Also, megalodon teeth are exceedingly common. They occur world wide. This fossil is not a cultural treasure. Asking for it back is like asking for a pebble back that someone picked up at the beach.

      • Nic919 says:

        Nice try but if it is actually a fossil then it has more value especially with regard to history. It is not just a pebble and trying to pretend that a 23 million year old fossil is a pebble utter bs and incorrect under the law.

        I have seen these cambstan talking points for the last few hours and they are extremely weak. You can’t just steal historical objects from another country.

        The boot lickers are out today to defend colonizer crimes I see.

      • Kalana says:

        Also, you can’t even take sand from some places so pretending this doesn’t matter doesn’t really work.

        When I heard the backstory about Malta, I winced. And sure enough, look what happened. The courtiers should have been much smarter about what information was released but we know they hate working.

        First Watermelon Sugar, skipping the launch of Hold Still, and now this. The Cambridges are blundering all over the place.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        And some countries have laws against even removing a pebble so if they want it back, give it back. The parents should treat it as a teaching moment and teach a valuable lesson to their kids.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Sue you copying and pasting these responses now. stop justifying the sense of entitlement that colonizers have over other people’s land and property.

  28. Beach Dreams says:

    It’s almost breathtaking how every PR attempt by these two seems to backfire, and in so many ways too. Shame that they’ve dragged their kids into this latest fiasco…and shame that they do indeed seem to be continuing the awful heir vs. spare dynamic with them.

  29. phlyfiremama says:

    Y’all are so cute, thinking that the archaic remnants of a previous era are going to do ANYTHING to tamper with their own pillaged, entitled system of plundering the world anytime soon. This monarchy that is a rancid leftover from literally the DARK AGES needs to be abolished, and taken off of being supported by the blood, sweat, tears, and death their empire building has sucked from the life blood of the population of not just of the UK, but in Africa, India, the Caribbean, and the West Indies. While we are dreaming, why don’t we also tell the catholic church to return all of the things THEY have plundered through the millenia as well. Good luck with ANY of that!! In Rome, they LITERALLY have a plaque about how the Pantheon was a “gift” from the pagan population they brutally subjugated #abolishthemonarchy

    • Nic919 says:

      KP providing no comment suggests they want this to go away. That said, it remains theft, whether or not it is actually returned.

  30. Mariane says:

    This couldn’t have happened to a better couple !What a big failure. In an attempt to
    outdo the sussexs the keenbridges keep falling flat on their faces. From billy saying he’s fedup with racism to joking about people dying from a pandemic to now this. I hope CW countries use this opportunity to demand the return of looted relics and treasure.

  31. Lizzie says:

    I usually bring wine as a hostess gift. Never thought of a pilfered artifact before. Does George still have to write a thank you note?

    • Sue M says:

      Not an artifact. An artifact is something portable that people have made. (I am an archaeologist, this day one lesson in Arch 101). Obviously people did not make the megalodon tooth. Megalodon teeth are common, and occur world wide. This is not a cultural treasure. This is like asking for a pebble back that someone pickup on a beach.

      • Nic919 says:

        A fossil doesn’t need to be an artefact to still be considered a cultural treasure. Stop with the cambstan talking points. It was taken unlawfully from Maltese land without express permission and as such it is theft because Attenborough did not have colour of right to take it. And seeing as he knew it was a fossil that was 23 million years old, he can’t pretend that he thought it was just a pebble or a random tooth.

  32. TeamMeg says:

    I feel sorry for George, and all the Cambridge kids, frankly. This whole debacle just messes with little kid feelings—from being excited to receive a really cool gift gift, to feeling awkward when you realize your sibs didn’t get one, too (assuming they didn’t), to feeling ashamed for even having the damn thing in your possession. Yes, the parents should make this into a teachable moment, return the tooth, etc. But if I were George, I would be feeling pretty darn confused and torn up, right about now. Traumatizing adults are at it again.

    • A says:

      It could also be a teaching moment. Not everything belongs to us or is our personal property. Sometimes grown ups make mistakes and take things they’re not meant to take. What is a reasonable person’s responsibility in this situation? It’s a big ask for a kid, but we all grow up learning how to deal with these conundrums. It’s about how our parents guide us along the way.

    • Sue M says:

      Exactly.

    • Kalana says:

      We don’t even know how George feels. Charlotte looked thrilled but poor George looked uncomfortable. Maybe he has no interest but is pushed forward because he’s an heir. It would be interesting to see a picture of George with players from his favorite football team.

      • Florence says:

        I think he might be the kind of kid who always photographs like that – I’m sure he’s cheerful enough but the cameras always get him looking sad or lost.

        Except when he’s in a helicopter!

    • TeamMeg says:

      Yes it is a teachable moment, I said that. The adults still screwed up.

  33. Emily says:

    Aren’t megalodon teeth pretty common though?? They are not as rare as you think. I love Expedition Unknown and the host Josh Gates found a bunch of megalodon teeth fossils in the desert somewhere (I want to say it was Mexico) on one of the episodes. I forget if he kept them or not though.

    I understand the need for countries to preserve artifacts and such but getting all worked up to get one megalodon tooth back to Malta that David Attenborough found on a beach over 50 years ago just seems a tad overkill? Megalodon teeth can be found worldwide, not just in Malta. I dunno, I feel differently about artifacts related to extinct animals (which at one point roamed the entire globe, not just Maltese waters) then I do to artifacts related to humans.

  34. Flying Fish says:

    Give the artifact back.

    • Sue M says:

      It is not an artifact. I am an archaeologist. An artifact is something small and portable that humans have made. Obviously people did not create megalodon teeth. Megalodon teeth are common, and occur world wide. This is not a cultural treasure. Asking for it back is like asking for a pebble back that some one picked up on a beach.

      • Kalana says:

        Then why did David Attenborough give George this pebble?

        He should have bought all three children gifts. If Malta wants their tooth back, they should get it back.

      • Nic919 says:

        Suddenly you have decided you are an archeologist? Are you now a Maltese archeologist too? Because you are incorrect about a fossil being available for the taking by just anyone. If it is 23 million years old and taken from Maltese land then the Maltese government has the right to ask for its return. Just like the Elgin marbles and other non human objects that were stolen by the British.

  35. Sue M says:

    This tooth is not a cultural treasure. If it was an archaeological treasure that had been looted from Malta, yes, of course it should be returned. Megalodon teeth and are exceedingly common, and found all over the world. This is like asking for a pebble you found on a beach in Malta to be returned. To compare this to the Elgin Marbles (which should be returned), is just ludicrous.

    • Metislady says:

      Thank heavens for some actual logic on this thread. The anti-William/Catherine brigade are out in force. Yet these same people will defend Megan and Harry if the same criticism was to be made about them

      • Nic919 says:

        No it’s actually Attenborough who stole it so stop reading in your own issues to what has been said. No one is blaming George here but it was still taken without permission. And making the same false comment over and over again that are talking points seen from the usual cambstans on twitter doesn’t make any of this more legitimate. Who is to say that teeth from an extinct animal is “common” ? Certainly not an archeologist, since that isn’t even the same specialty.

      • bamaborn says:

        Just because people point out how short sighted these people are does not make them “anti” anything. If you took something from a country, say a beautiful leaf, and they asked for it back, GIVE IT BACK!

      • Tessa says:

        It’s the parents fault not George and the parents should know better.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      pants on fire. it is stealing. e.g. you can’t go to Hawaii or Bermuda and take even the sand from the beach far less a megalodon tooth. That is a crime. So stop with this comparison to taking pebbles story.

      • L4frimaire says:

        Just FYI, stealing sand is a big deal. Governments actually have to grant permission for companies to harvest their white sand, e.g. Jamaica, Bahamas. Also, this shark thing was brought up by Malta. It would be in the weird, funny news category and probably laughed off if the UK press haven’t been so hell bent these past two weeks on coming after Harry and Meghan for living and speaking, and trying to strip them out of existence. This little shark tooth probably wouldn’t have even made headlines but Malta has their reasons, so who knows what’s going on there. It’s weird and, yeah, funny.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Copying and pasting your comment all over won’t make it factual.

  36. MerryGirl says:

    Interesting fact: Meghan’s ancestors on her father’s side are from Malta and on her mother’s side her ancestors were African slaves, so here we have both sides of her family with a history of being colonized by the British. To make matters worse, William whose son is now the recipient of a stolen fossil from a former Commonwealth country, conspired with Angela Kelly to refuse letting her wear jewels (most likely stolen) from the Queen’s vault. If anyone in the Royal family had a claim to the shark tooth or the crown jewels (at least temporarily until they are rightfully returned) it’s Meghan.

    • bamaborn says:

      Merry girl…been saying this for awhile now. You have Betty and Kate and others sitting, grinning with stolen jewels sitting on their heads, it’s Duchess Meghan who has a more legitimate claim to these jewels. And for the naysayers, tell us what areas in Europe are known for producing diamonds.

  37. Valerie says:

    You’d think someone as established and knowledgable as Attenborough would know better.

  38. HeatherC says:

    Sir David should watch out. I believe no one thought this would be a thing, but now that it is and he has his own deal with Netflix (which is now okay i guess lol) if Sir David teams up with Harry (most likely) or Meghan in a Netflix project this will come back to bite him, courtesy of KP, and will be twisted to malign the Sussexes as well.

  39. Tessa says:

    I hope the Cambridges have to give this back. It was foolish to give a 7 year old a museum piece. ANd it seems rather pompous of the Cambridges to condone it.

  40. Charfromdarock says:

    Genuinely good luck to Malta getting the tooth back.

    It took years for us to repatriate the remains of Indigenous people stolen by the British from their graves.

    Although since this was privately “owned” and not in a museum, the process shouldn’t be as laborious.

    If anyone on the Royal team had half a clue, creating a narrative of George willingly returning it, sets him up for future good press (if there is still a monarchy) and shows what great parents W&K are.

    • Tessa says:

      Why would a 7 year child be given something belonging in a museum. And he will get the idea that he is more “deserving” of presents than his siblings. And the other children will get more resentful. Bad parenting.

  41. Tessa says:

    Usually small children go to science museums on field trips and a guide lets them look at some of the artifacts. They can go to a childrens museum with dinosaur skeletons or dinosaur sculptures. These are teachable moments, Then they go to gift shops and their parents buy them educational books about dinosaurs et al, or small toys of dinosaurs. Giving George that ancient tooth is really strange. IMO.

  42. Kkat says:

    I just want to say Sue M is a big troll liar and is in NO way a archeologist 😂

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Kat, yep. Totally agree with you re Sue M. Troll. Posting the same thing over and over again. We see you.