A man moving a pesky stone marker out of his way certainly had no idea he would open his country to a European territorial battle.
A Belgian farmer accidentally moved what turned out to be a territory border marker which in turn reduced the size of France by 7.5 feet. Now his reckless act could get him in international trouble, according to a report by The independent.
According to a report from the outlet, the man moved the stone placement that hampered his tractor while tending to his land. The French mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc Aurélie Welonek noted that the man “also repositioned his fence on trees belonging to the wood of Bousignies”, thus involuntarily widening the borders of Belgium.
The accidental land invasion has only been carried out in recent weeks by local historians. According to The voice of the North, three nature enthusiasts embarked on the project to restore historical artifacts lost in local vegetation when they realized the marker had been moved.
“I immediately had the impression that the border marker, located at the end of the wood, had moved,” one of the historians Jean-Pierre Chopin told the French media.
The BBC noted that the marker in question is of particular importance because of its role in the history of France. It is one of the land dividers covering over 390 miles that was erected as a result of Waterloo.
Belgian mayor of Erquelinnes David Lavaux took to his social media accounts for humor in the dire situation.
“We moved the border in 1819, Belgium and our town are enlarged; the French obviously do not agree,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m going to have to put things back together.”
He then appeared on the French news channel TF1 saying: “He made Belgium and France smaller, it’s not a good idea … I was happy, my city was bigger. But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc did not do it. I agree. “
The BBC noted that Belgian authorities would be in contact with the farmer to return the stone to its original location, otherwise he could face federal charges. If it does not comply, it may also require a larger Franco-Belgian border meeting, which has not met since 1930.
“It is certain that his [new] the location no longer matches the data we have, otherwise the foreign ministry could get involved, ”Welonek told La Voix du Nord.
Fortunately, neither Welonek nor Lavaux expected the situation to reach this level.
“However, we should be able to avoid another border war,” Welonek joked to La Voix du Nord.
Curiously, France and Belgium are not the only nations to have publicly addressed international border issues in recent weeks. In April, a man who was trapped on a freighter for four years due to property issues was finally allowed to return home.