Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty on U.S. stamp is a replica standing outside Las Vegas hotel and casino

By Jay Bigalke

The image of Lady Liberty on recent United States stamps does not show the world-famous statue located in New York Harbor.

The Lady Liberty forever coil stamp issued in December 2010 shows a replica of the world-famous landmark which stands outside a casino in Las Vegas, Nev., not the actual monument in New York Harbor.
The statue of Liberty replica outside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Photo by Jay Bigalke/Linn's Stamp News.
The replica statue in Las Vegas (left) and the real Statue of Liberty in New York (right). The lighter rectangular patch in the center crown spike on the replica appears on the stamp. The actual statue does not have this feature. Photos by Jay Bigalke/Linn's Stamp News.

The photograph used for the stamp pictures a replica of the Statue of Liberty that stands outside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Lady Liberty forever stamp is pictured here. A photograph of the statue in Las Vegas is shown on page 32.

The U.S. Postal Service issued a press release about the new stamp on Dec. 9, 2010, stating: "The statue, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi."

The press release makes no mention of the statue shown on the stamp being the Las Vegas replica.

The Postal Service identifies the photographer for the stamp as Raimund Linke.

The web site for digital media provider Getty Images includes an identical photograph attributed to Linke. Keywords, or search terms, associate this photograph with the Las Vegas replica.

Additional evidence that the statue shown on the stamp is the Las Vegas replica can be found by comparing photographs of the replica with the picture shown on the stamp.

In the images shown here, the replica in Las Vegas is pictured at left. The original statue in New York is shown at right. These photographs were taken in May 2005 and October 2010, respectively.

A light colored rectangular patch can be seen on the center spike of the replica's crown, near the statue's head. Other photos of the replica posted on the Internet suggest this rectangle is a plaque or sign.

The same rectangular patch is visible on the stamp and in the photograph shown on the Getty Images web site, but not on images of the actual Statue of Liberty.

In addition, the eyes, eyelids and eyebrows on the replica appear more sharply defined than on the original statue. The hair on the replica across the top of the face and at the side of the face has different characteristics than the hair on the original statue.

The New York-New York Hotel and Casino had its grand opening Jan. 3, 1997. The hotel exterior recreates several prominent New York City skyscrapers.

The Statue of Liberty replica outside the casino is 150 feet tall. From the foundation of the pedestal to the top of the torch, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor is a little over 305 feet tall.

The nondenominated (44¢) Lady Liberty and American Flag stamps were issued Dec. 1, 2010, in coils of 100 printed by three different manufacturers. The Lady Liberty stamp alternates with the American Flag stamp in each coil.

On April 8, an ATM pane of 18 was issued using the same two designs.

Double-sided booklets of 20, likely to be printed by all three printers, are planned to be issued in September.