Lhe farmer thought he could, incognito, enlarge his land by a few meters. It was without counting on French enthusiasts, real sentinels of local history, who identify the historical markings of the Franco-Belgian relationship, and the limits set between neighbors. A case which, two centuries ago, could have turned into a diplomatic incident.
In Belgium, a farmer, owner of land bordering France, recently moved the old stone marker that marks the precise location of the border, nibbling away some of the area of the French village of Bousignies-sur-Roc (North) . And pushing back the limits of the country, in defiance of an international treaty of 1820.
David Lavaux, the Belgian bourgmestre (mayor) of Erquelinnes, where the daring owner is domiciled, confirmed the information reported by local media in northern France, whose The voice of the North.
This Belgian resident, farmer, who recently became the owner of several hectares on the edge of the wood of Bousignies (France), obviously wanted to take advantage of the calm of the place to further expand his land, reports the Belgian elected to Agence France-Presse (AFP) . “Move back the terminal by 2 meters 20, obviously that enlarged his property”, says David Lavaux. This farmer was a priori embarrassed to pass with his tractor, explains for his part Aurélie Welonek, mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc, the village on the French side, cited by France Bleu Nord.
The farmer also took the opportunity to “Reposition your fence on trees that belong to the wood of Bousignies”, according to the French elected official. At the same time, the Belgian lost the area of the town of Bousignies-sur-Roc. “What he did not expect is that this terminal had been geolocated with great precision in 2019. It was therefore easy to prove that it had moved”, continues Mr. Lavaux.
The discovery, which dates back about a month, is indeed due to French enthusiasts who identify these historical marks of the Franco-Belgian relationship. They are the ones who, during a treasure hunt in the wood, noticed the crime, reports The voice of the North. ” I immediately had the impression that the border post, located at the end of the wood, had moved “, tells one of them in the regional daily.
A treaty of limits dating from 1820
On these stone markers has been engraved a date, “1819”, year of their creation, with on the side faces a “F” for the kingdom of France and, on the other side, a ” NOT ” (Nederland) for that of the Netherlands.
Belgium, created in 1830, did not yet exist as an independent kingdom at the time. After the defeat of Napoleon Ier in 1815 in Waterloo, south of Brussels, the territory had returned under the domination of the Dutch crown.
In 1820, a so-called “limits” treaty was signed in Kortrijk (in present-day Dutch-speaking Belgium) to inscribe this border line in black and white… Which, it seems, had not budged until the unfortunate gesture of this Belgian farmer from Erquelinnes.
But according to David Lavaux, an appointment has been set with the owner to ask him to repair his package quickly. “We will have contact with him before the end of the week. We will ask him to put the terminal back to its original location. If he does, we don’t talk about it anymore ”, assured the elected. Otherwise, the case could go back to the French foreign ministry.