Bring me your tired, your gamblers, yearning to be free.
More than four months after it was issued, the U.S. Postal Service's "Lady Liberty Forever" stamp is revealed to be an image not of the Lady in the Harbor, but of the replica outside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Linn's Stamp News, the U.S. philatelist bible, reports the blunder today.
Apparently, in its frequent use of stock-photo agencies, the USPS settled on a shot from Getty Images without looking carefully enough to see that its selected image of Liberty Enlightening the World, as its French donors called their gift to America for the U.S. centennial, is not a photo of the real statue.
This does seem an odd mistake. As you can see in the comparison below, the 14-year-old replica, dating from the grand opening of the New York-New York casino, has very clearly defined features compared with the weather-worn original at right.
At left, a replica of the Statue of Liberty that stands about 100 ft. tall outside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.; and the original Statue of Liberty, about three times' the height of the replica, which has been towering over Liberty Island in New York Harbor for 125 years.
The USPS has no plans to recall the stamp, first issued Dec. 1, 2010. That prevents a windfall for those who've already bought them. By contast, if you'd bought the USPS's 2009 commemorative stamp labeled "Grand Canyon, Colorado," which was promptly recalled, being too egregious an error to live with, you'd have a valuable collector's item.