An Adelaide shopping centre has found itself in trouble with Sir David Attenborough after it falsely attributed a plaque quote to him.
Sir David Attenborough has had strong words with management at an Adelaide shopping centre after he found out it was displaying a plaque that quoted him incorrectly.
The matter was initially raised with Westfield Tea Tree Plaza in July by environmental scientist Heath Hunter who asked that the plaque be removed, Adelaide's The Advertiser reported.
The plaque, created by artist Lucy Bonnin, quoted Sir David as saying: "In the past five years, the bee population has dropped by a third. If bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humans would have just four years left to live."
When Hunter informed management of the error, its facilities manager Charles Papp said he would look into having the plaque removed or replaced "as soon as practicable".
"Whilst the plaque may have misrepresentation, it is not causing any harm," he told Hunter at the time.
Bonnin agreed to removing the plaque, but only because Hunter had "a bit of a bee in his bonnet about it".
Still however, the plaque remained unchanged and in its regular spot, prompting Hunter to this month take the matter directly to Attenborough.
Attenborough, despite a busy schedule, responded to Hunter expressing gratitude for bringing the issue to his attention, and also contacted the shopping centre himself.
"You are, of course, quite correct in thinking that I have never made the statements they attribute to me and that they are false – both in substance and in attribution," part of his letter to Hunter read.
Attenborough's message to the centre read that it had been brought to his attention that a "public notice has been placed in the Tea Tree Plaza alongside a large mural painting of honeybees in which I am quoted as making statements about domesticated honeybee colonies".
"I have never made public statements on that subject and those attributed to me I believe to be false. I would be most grateful therefore if you would have that notice removed," he wrote.
Even after Attenborough contacted the centre directly, Hunter said the plaque remained in place, which he said drove him to take his frustration to the media.
Only after an email and phone call from a media organisation did the centre on Monday finally remove the plaque.
The quote, which had previously also been wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, was incorrect because humanity was well capable of surviving without bees pollinating crops.
Not only are there a broad range of other insects that perform pollination, a huge variety of fruits and vegetables don't even need pollination to grow.