The newest forever stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service was supposed to be an iconic American image of the Statue of Liberty, but instead of showing the statue that stands in New York harbor, the picture depicts her doppelganger at the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas.
Despite the fact the stamp depicts a gambling destination, the post office says it still prefers the picture to the original Lady Liberty and has no plans to recall the stamp.
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Postal officials were not aware of the mistake until they received a tip from a stamp afficianado who was able to point out the difference between the real Lady Liberty and her plaster counterpart. The Postal Service has decllined to identify the tipster.
"We immediately started fact-checking," said Roy Betts, a spokesman for the United States Postal Service. "We discovered it is in fact a replica."
The postal service orginally obtained the images from the Getty Images photo agency who had the figure listed as Lady Liberty. The description made no reference to it being a replica.
According to Betts, the postal service, which has featured the Statue of Liberty on 23 stamps, would have selected the image even if they knew it was a picture of the replica.
"We love this treatment of Lady Liberty. We wanted to do something differently," he said. "We love the design and would have selected the photograph from the beginning."
He said that the only thing they would have done differently is specify that it was an image of the Las Vegas tourist attraction from the beginning.
They have no plans to recall the stamp.
"We knew it wasn't an error in the artwork itself, so we're not going to recall the stamp," said Betts. "We were OK with the art, but the description was incorrect."
The stamp was first introduced in December 2010.