Alert Walloon historians discovered the discrepancy when they were repairing border posts along the Franco-Belgian border, one of their favourite pastimes. The historians noticed what to all intents and purposes was a violation of the Treaty of Kortrijk, when they were at work in Féfu Wood. The wood marks the border between Montignies-Saint-Christophe in Belgium and Bousignies-sur-Roc in France. There they found a border post that seemed to stand two metres too far in French territory just beyond the fence around a Belgian farmer’s meadow. When they checked, they discovered they were right!
It seems the farmer moved the stone to make life easier for himself. The local French mayor thinks he even must have used a tractor, because the post weighs 150 kilos.
The posts are two hundred years old and date from the time of the Treaty of Kortrijk, signed in 1820. Following Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo the treaty laid down the border between Belgium, France and Luxembourg. Few changes have been made since.
The story has already been reported widely in international media including Britain’s BBC, but a diplomatic incident is unlikely. The local Belgian mayor has instructed the farmer to put the post back in the right place!