USPS accidentally issues Vegas Statue of Liberty stamp

 Images 20110425 Oa3 Sl Big

How fantastically hyperreal: Turns out the United States Postal Service's brand new Statue of Liberty stamp, seen below, accidentally features an illustration of the Lady Liberty replica at Las Vegas's New York-New York casino as opposed to the real statue in New York Harbor. A philatelist and fan of the NYC statue noticed the error and informed Linn's Stamp News. They investigated and published the above comparative photos, with the replica at top left. From the New York Times:

 Images 2011 04 15 Us Stamp Stamp-Popup
"We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway," said Roy Betts, a spokesman (for the USPS). Mr. Betts did say, however, that the post office regrets the error and is "re-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future."

The service selected the image from a photography service, and issued rolls of the stamp bearing the image in December. This month, it issued a sheet of 18 Lady Liberty and flag stamps. Information accompanying the original release of the stamp included a bit of history on the real Statue of Liberty. Las Vegas was never mentioned. The whole mess was exposed by the stamp magazine, which this week ran photographs of both statues.

To the average tourist, there are obvious differences. The Las Vegas statue is half the size of the real Statue of Liberty. And of course, they are in different cities. But it takes a real student of Lady Liberty to notice the contrasts in a stamp-size photo of her head. The hair is different. The replica's eyes are much more sharply defined. A rectangular patch – a plaque, maybe? – is on the replica's center spike.

"This Lady Liberty Is a Las Vegas Teenager" (NYT, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)

"Statue of Liberty on U.S. stamp is a replica standing outside Las Vegas hotel and casino" (Linn's Stamp News)