The Belgian village of Erquelinnes, which lies along the 390-mile border with France, had as a result grown by seven feet. The French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc in turn shed more than a few inches.
“I was happy, my town was bigger,” David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, told French TV channel TF1, according to the BBC. “But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn’t agree.”
The stone in question dates to 1819, one year before the signing of the Treaty of Kortrijk, which set the modern-day boundaries of the once-warring states, according to the BBC.
Much has improved in relations between Belgium and France in the two centuries since Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.
“We should be able to avoid a new border war,” Aurélie Welonek, the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc, told a French newspaper.
Belgian authorities told the BBC that they will ask the farmer to move the border back. If he does not comply, they may need to seek help from the Franco-Belgian border commission, which has not been summoned since 1930.
The farmer also could face a fine.