A Belgian farmer accidentally shifted a stone on his farm, which actually marked the border with France, making his country 1,000 square meters bigger for a few days.
The farmer from Erquelinnes, a town in Belgium at the center of the border, had moved the stone, which actually marked the border with France, because it was in the way of his tractor.
In doing so, he unintentionally moved the stone marker 2.29 meters into French territory.
A person who was walking in the forest noticed that the stone, which was laid there in 1819 when the Belgian-French border was first marked out, had been moved and alerted officials.
“He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it’s not a good idea,” David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, told French TV channel TF1.
“We laugh about this more than anything else, it is not very serious. We’re going to put back the border where it belongs. Our intention wasn’t to make Belgium bigger and France smaller!” Lavaux told CNN.
The mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc, the French town on the other side of the border, Aurélie Welonek, was equally amused by the situation, telling La Voix du Nord, “We should be able to avoid a new border war,” according to the BBC.
Belgian authorities will now contact the farmer and ask him to move the stone back to its original location. If the farmer doesn’t comply, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would become involved.
The exact time when the stone was displaced is unknown, but a member of a French border marking group told The New York Times that they guessed it had been moved for about two or three months.