By Andrea Romano
July 09, 2018
Statue of Liberty Replica in Las Vegas and Statue of Liberty in New York
Credit: EyeEm/Alamy Stock Photo; EyeEm/Alamy Stock Photo

Everyone makes mistakes. Even, it seems, the United States Post Office.

This mistake, however, is a bit more costly than misplacing one of your packages. It turns out, the Statue of Liberty Forever stamps released by the U.S.P.S. in 2010 don’t actually show New York's Lady Liberty, and it’s costing the organization $3.5 million.

So, who is this faux Lady Liberty? She’s not too far off, depending on who you ask. She’s actually the Statue of Liberty replica at the New York New York casino hotel in Las Vegas.

Looking at the stamp, it seems like an easy mistake. After all, the photo does look a lot like the statue, except that it’s actually the wrong color and slightly different proportions.

The U.S.P.S. noticed the problem three months after the stamps were released. Over 3 billion were printed. Still, the organization wasn’t too bothered by the mistake, giving a sense that the replica and the original are fairly interchangeable.

“We really like the image and are thrilled that people have noticed in a sense..If you ask people in Vegas, they're saying, ‘Hey, That's great. That's wonderful.’ It's certainly injected some excitement into our stamp program,” a USPS spokesman told CNN in 2011.

Unfortunately, courts have recently ruled in favor of a suit filed by the replica’s sculptor, Robert Davidson, that requires the U.S.P.S. to pay him $3.5 million for copyright infringement.

According to USA Today, the suit states that the replica and the original are undoubtedly different. Davidson’s replica was made to be “more ‘fresh-faced,’ ‘sultry’ and even ‘sexier.’” than the original, therefore making it an original design.

A side by side comparison of the statues shows that they could be fairly distinguishable from each other. Besides the issue of copyright infringement, a commemorative stamp named “Lady Liberty Forever” becomes slightly ironic when it’s a photo of a Las Vegas replica that’s only two-fifths the size of the original.