Speaking to Times Malta on Monday, Culture Minister José Herrera said that the prehistoric tooth should ideally be returned to its original place of excavation.
“There are some artefacts that are important to Maltese natural heritage and which ended up abroad and deserve to be retrieved,” José said.
“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.”
Sir David found the extremely old tooth fossil, which belonged to an extinct species of shark called megalodon, while holidaying in Malta with his family in the late 1960s.
The prehistoric shark, which is believed to have existed 23 million years ago, reportedly could grow up to 16 metres in length.
Speaking about the generous exchange to The Times, Sir David revealed why he gifted the 70-year-old object to the future King of England.
“When I was his age, I remember being given fossils by a grown-up, so I thought I would do the same," David told the British publication.
The iconic filmmaker also recalled how the young prince had been extremely inquisitive about the object, asking lots of questions about its origin.
“[George asked] What it was? How big it was? And so on,” David began.
“He was certainly very interested. He seemed to like it. He is very interested in fossils. She [Charlotte] was too. All three seemed charming," he added.
Despite the backlash, the Maltese government has issued a follow-up response, which states the nation has no intention of asking George to return the tooth.
According to People, a spokesman for the ministry reportedly stated that the government had looked at its legislation and decided not to pursue the fossil.
″The Minister would like to note that with reference to this case, it is not the intention to pursue this matter any further," the spokesman reportedly said.
The royal backlash comes after it was revealed William is following in his father Prince Charles’ carbon-free footprints and advocating for environmental change.
Speaking in the new ITV documentary, Prince William: A Planet For Us All, the 38-year-old urged people to acknowledge the growing environmental threat to the planet.
“I’ve always loved nature… but fatherhood has given me a new sense of purpose,” William says in a first-look promo for the upcoming documentary.
“Now I’ve got George, Charlotte and now Louis in my life, your outlook on life does change. You want to hand over the wildlife in a much better condition,” he added.