[imagesource: Kensington Palace]
We don’t often read about the royal spawn.
Perhaps that’s because they don’t really do all that much, although royals doing nothing has never deterred the press in the past.
Did you hear? Kate wore a dress.
Anyway, moving on.
Prince George, who is in line to take the crown after his dad, William (or not, as the Queen is probably immortal), was treated to a visit last week from international treasure Sir David Attenborough, with his parents and siblings in attendance.
During the visit, he gifted Prince George a giant prehistoric shark tooth, which he had found on a family holiday to Malta more than 50 years ago.
In keeping with a growing tradition of former colonies demanding their stuff back, after it was taken by the British, Malta was having none of it.
[Malta’s culture minister Jose] Herrera told the Times of Malta newspaper: “There are some artefacts that are important to Maltese natural heritage and which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved.
“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.”
Malta was a British colony until 1964, and the Queen served as head of state until 1974.
In short, Malta wanted its 23 million-year-old tooth back.
Before you dismiss the claim, however, keep in mind that fossils fall under the definition of cultural heritage as a ‘movable or immovable object of geological importance’.
After some investigation, however, and according to The Guardian, Malta’s culture ministry decided not to push the issue.
A spokesperson said: “The minister’s initial comments were based on the related national legislation in particular the Cultural Heritage Act, 2002 which superseded the previous legislation being the Antiquities (Protection) Act of 1910 and the Antiquities (Protection) Act of 1925. The minister would like to note that with reference to this case, it is not the intention to pursue this matter any further.”
Kensington Palace has declined to publicly comment, but perhaps there was some pulling of strings behind the scenes.
I’m sure George is very pleased.
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