Belgian landowner accidentally occupies French soil

A Belgian landowner risked triggering an international incident by moving a boundary marker that has denoted his country's border with France.

5/5/2021 11:40:00 PM

A Belgian landowner risked triggering an international incident by moving an old stone boundary marker that has denoted his country’s border with France since the 1820 Treaty of Kortrijk.

A Belgian landowner risked triggering an international incident by moving a boundary marker that has denoted his country's border with France.

Belgium was not independent when the border was traced, but in 1815 when Napoleon was defeated by allied forces at Waterloo, the realm fell under the Dutch throne.Hence the border markers, placed in 1819, are marked with an F for France on one side and an N for The Netherlands on the other.

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The frontier was enshrined in law in 1820 under the Treaty of Kortrijk and remained in the same place after Belgium became an independent kingdom in 1830 — at least until the Erquelines landowner’s recent ploy.War is not imminent, however. According to Mayor Lavaux, an appointment has been made with the landowner to resolve the issue.

“We’ll see him before the end of the week and if he replaces the stone, we’ll make no more of it,” he told AFP. Read more: Inquirer »

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