The stone that the farmer moved.
David Lavaux
  • A farmer in the Belgian village of Erquelinnes accidentally redrew the country's border with France.
  • The border was changed when he moved a stone that was in his tractor's path.
  • The move was discovered by a local history buff who noticed the border had shifted by 2.2 metres.
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A Belgian farmer accidentally redrew the country's border with France when he moved a stone that was blocking his tractor's path.

The stone was moved in the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, the BBC reported. It's unclear exactly when the farmer moved the stone, but the redrawn border was realized when a local history buff noticed the stone had moved 2.2 metres.

The stone dated back to 1819, one year before the boundary between Belgium and France was officially established in the 1820 Treaty of Kortrijk.

"He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it's not a good idea," David Lavaux, mayor of Erquelinnes, told TF1, according to BBC. "I was happy by town was bigger. But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn't agree."

Belgian authorities plan to ask the farmer to move the stone back to its normal place.

If the farmer doesn't comply, a Franco-Belgian border commission may have to be summoned for the first time since 1930, according to The Guardian.

The farmer could, in theory, face criminal charges for the act, but has been promised leniency if he puts the stone back.

A border war is not currently thought likely.

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