A Belgian farmer in the town of Erquelinnes almost caused an international incident when he moved an innocuous-looking stone around 7 feet, according to local news reports. The farmer likely had no idea that this piece of yard work had just expanded Belgium by about 1,000 square meters. The stone is actually part of a series of similar markers, placed there in 1819 to mark the border between France and what was then called the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The stones are still used to demarcate the line between France and Belgium. “We know exactly where the stone was before, right next to a tree,” Erquelinnes Mayor David Lavaux said on Tuesday. “It should be resolved tomorrow, we are about to find the person that moved the stone, so we can avoid any troubles.” The mayor said he isn’t looking to enact a land grab. “We’re going to put back the border where it belongs,” he said. Aurélie Welonek, the mayor of the neighboring French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc, showed where the diplomatically important stone had been moved to, in a video interview with French news outlet Internep.
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