Malta is once again a major talking point for countless international news outlets – and it’s all because of an ancient shark tooth.
It all started last Saturday, when world-renowned natural historian Sir David Attenborough gifted seven-year old Prince George an ancient Carcharocles tooth during a screening of his latest film.
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This natural artefact had been found by Attenborough when he was on holiday in Malta back in the 1960s.
Everyone’s hearts were periodically warmed by this small gesture of kindness – that is, until the Maltese caught wind of what was going down.
Earlier today, Arts Minister Jose Herrera said that the shark 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 Times of Malta.
After that, all hell broke loose.
Investigative journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia was the first to slam the “useless” Arts Minister for campaigning to bring the artefact back to Maltese shores.
“Minister Jose Herrera is campaigning for a fossil to be taken away from a toddler in another country,” Caruana Galizia said.
“About the millions stolen by Schembri and Fenech, he has nothing to say. How about asking for the return of those instead? Useless.“
But the commotion didn’t stop there.
The Mercury News soon followed suit, seeing this incident as an opportunity for young Prince George to ‘learn a lesson’.
“Prince George, the seven-year-old future king of the United Kingdom, is having to learn a difficult lesson about what happens when he and other members of the royal family are gifted rare objects that have to be repatriated to their countries of origin,” the news outlet said.
A number of UK-based news outlets also proceeded to write about the shark tooth fiasco.
“From the world-famous Koh-i-noor diamond to the Rosetta Stone, British royals have long been gifted rare objects that campaigners want repatriated to their rightful lands,” The Guardian wrote.
“Prince George, it seems, is the latest in the line of fire, after being given a giant prehistoric shark tooth by the environmentalist and national treasure Sir David Attenborough.”
Needless to say, a number of Maltese politicians gave their two cents about the shark tooth saga. MEP Roberta Metsola, for one, saw this as the perfect opportunity to take a dig at the government.
“That moment when you’re on a video concerned and you are asked whether it is true that, as the world’s media is reporting, Malta’s Government is about to engage in a full diplomatic battle with seven-year-old Prince George,” Metsola wrote.
“We know where the real sharks are and how much they are stealing from our country. How about Government goes after them instead?”
PN leader Adrian Delia soon followed suit with a passive aggressive tweet.
By all means, let’s get the shark tooth back – but @MaltaGov would better show same enthusiasm in returning the hospitals back to the people & the millions of euros stolen from our families. ????????
— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) September 28, 2020