Lady Liberty Mix-up at the Post Office

Devon Minnema
Apr 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Reuters reports that the Post Office had mistakenly said that the "Lady Liberty Stamp" seen below was a picture of the real Lady Liberty in New York, however it was discovered that the Lady Liberty seen in the stamp's image is actually of the Las Vegas replica of the statue.

Lady Liberty Stamp

The stamps will still be used, and the Post Office has changed their description of the stamp to say that it is a close-up of the Las Vegas replica. Here's some of what Rueters had to say:

The first-class postage stamp, which shows a low-angled close-up of Lady Liberty's face and crown, was issued in December, according to an announcement about the "world-recognized" symbol of the United States.

The statement described the statue as a gift from the people of France, designed by sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, which stands 305 feet tall on Liberty Island off the tip of Manhattan, "a symbol of political freedom and democracy for millions of people around the world."

None of which is quite true of the half-sized replica outside the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The USPS became aware of what it is calling a "mischaracterization" about a month ago, Betts said. News of the mix-up was first reported in the latest issue of Linns Stamp News, a magazine for stamp enthusiasts.

The differences are subtle: the eyebrows and eyes of the replica are a little more sharply defined and she has a small rectangular patch on the central spike of her crown that the original lacks. The younger Las Vegas model also looks more fresh-faced, whereas the 124-year-old New Yorker is showing her age with darker-colored streaks on her nose and cheeks.

Betts partly blamed Getty Images, the stock photography company that supplied the image, for ambiguously labeling the image in its database. While the image is simply titled "Statue of Liberty," the keywords attached to it include "Nevada" and "Replica Statue of Liberty - Las Vegas," although Betts say this information was added only after the USPS raised the point with Getty.

MGM Resorts International, which owns the New York-New York Hotel, seemed pleased with the mix-up.

"We all thought that the Post Office was honoring just one great American institution, but in reality it was honoring two -- The Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas -- with just one stamp," said Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for the company. "Regardless of how it came about, New York-New York is honored to be the first Las Vegas casino resort to be on a U.S. stamp."

You know its bad when they can't even get the stamps right... Read the whole story here.

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