(CNN) — A significant diplomatic incident has been averted in Europe after a Belgian farmer by accident moved the border with France, making his house nation about 1,000 sq. meters greater. Fortunately, native authorities noticed the humorous aspect.
The border between Belgium and France stretches 390 miles (620 kilometers) and the stone markers that outline it have been peacefully in place for greater than 200 years.
One of many boundary stones, nonetheless — laid down in 1819, shortly earlier than the Treaty of Kortrijk sealed the deal — was lately noticed as being misplaced by 2.29 meters (7.5 toes).
A farmer from the Belgian city of Erquelinnes is believed to have moved the nuisance stone on his land to a extra handy spot, with out anticipating the potential for a world kerfuffle.
Erquelinnes, Belgium, is on the heart of a border mishap with France.
Virginie LeFour/Belga/Sipa USA
The displaced border all alongside the farmer’s discipline amounted to an unintended land seize of round 1,000 sq. meters.
“We all know precisely the place the stone was earlier than, proper subsequent to a tree,” David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, Belgium, informed CNN on Tuesday. “In 2019, through the 2 hundredth anniversary, they had been geo-localized very exactly.
“The stones had been positioned there in 1819 following the defeat of Napoleon, and the 12 months is inscribed on them.”
Lavaux added: “It needs to be resolved tomorrow, we’re about to seek out the person who moved the stone, so we are able to keep away from any troubles. I nonetheless must confirm who the land proprietor is.”
The Belgian mayor harassed that native authorities on each side of the border had been eager to resolve the state of affairs shortly and amicably.
“We chortle about this greater than the rest, it isn’t very severe,” he mentioned. “We’ll put again the border the place it belongs. Our intention wasn’t to make Belgium greater and France smaller!”
“Our two nations get alongside effectively, so there have been no nice issues at this level,” she mentioned. “I totally belief my Belgian counterpart who did what was obligatory with the farmer. We requested him to maneuver the stone again, and will he not cooperate, then the Ministry of International Affairs would get entangled.”
The 2 cities lie roughly halfway on the Franco-Belgian border, with Erquellines a Walloon municipality with a bit of underneath 10,000 residents and Bousignies-sur-Roc a commune in France’s Nord division with a inhabitants of round 400.