The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Belgium invades France

With France and the UK sending naval vessels to the Isle of Jersey last week, it's only fitting that Belgium got into the historical reenactment game:

Apparently frustrated by a 200-year-old stone border marker, a Belgian farmer dug it out and moved it about seven feet into French territory, local officials told French news media, thus slightly enlarging his own land as well as the entire country of Belgium.

The stone markers, each believed to weigh between 300 and 600 pounds, were laid when the 390-mile border between France and what is now Belgium was established under the 1820 Treaty of Kortrijk.

It is unclear whether the farmer knew the significance of the stone, which has 1819 carved into its face.

The farmer could face criminal charges if he does not return the Franco-Belgian border to the correct location.

I also found it fascinating that France has clubs who walk the Belgian border looking for exactly these kinds of things. I wonder how many other borders in the world have changed slightly due to adverse possession by people who don't know they're invading the other country?

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    5/10/2021 9:38:43 AM +00:00 |

    My late father-in-law spent most of his working life as a surveyor for the U.S. Forest Service in north Idaho, leading survey teams in the forests along the Canadian border.  This was in the days before GPS, and before there was a clear-cut zone along the 49th parallel.  They would take a Sun sighting with a theodolite at midday to determine their latitude.  On several occasions, he once told me, they found themselves north of 49° N, and had to retreat south.

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