A farmer in the Belgian border town of Erquelinnes has done quite a bit by accidentally pushing the border with France. A local historian noticed that a centuries-old pole marking the border had been moved about two metres.
The border pole of more than 150 kilos dates back to 1820 when the border between France, Luxembourg and later Belgium was established, five years after the lost battle of Napoleon at Waterloo.
Three historians from the region researched the 200-year-old border poles in order to finally restore them to their glory. The three suspect that the stone marking was most likely in the way of the farmer, who regularly has to go along with his tractor.
David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, can laugh at the incident. “He made Belgium bigger and France smaller. Thats not a smart idea,” says Lavaux to local media. He asked the farmer to put the post back. If he does so, the farmer will not be fined, nor will he be prosecuted.
The mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc, the French town on the other side of the border, could also see the humour of it. “We must avoid a new border war at all costs,” said Aurélie Welonek in local media.