Statue of Liberty Stamp: Is Vegas the New New York?

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From a distance, the Statue of Liberty is a powerful icon: A shining beacon in New York harbor, she honors one of America's longest alliances and welcomes its new citizens.

Up close, however, the landmark is looking a little rough: Streams of black tarnish run down her face like tear tracks, rivets pock her cheeks and forehead like acne scars, and the metal seams on her face poke out like poorly-sewn stitches. The windows in her crown are dull with dirt, and the years of wind and water have worn down her eyes, making them look unfocused.

In other words, Lady Liberty is showing her age...all 125 years of it.

All told, it's not surprising that the U.S. Postal Service subbed in a younger, more attractive model for its latest stamp. The Lady Liberty featured on the new USPS "Forever" stamps hails not from New York, but from New York, New York -- the Las Vegas casino.Admittedly, the casino's miniature version of the statue has its own flaws, including windows that seem a little dull and an off-color patch on her crown. But her skin is flawless, her eyes are sharp, and she has a soft smoothness that makes the original statue look a little stern.

Statue of Liberty stamp In other words, giving the Statue of Liberty stamps a facelift might have made a lot of sense, if the Postal Service had done so on purpose. However, according to The New York Times, the picture on the stamp came from a photo service, and its inclusion was accidental. When called on the error, USPS spokesman Roy Betts asserted that "We would have selected this photograph anyway."

While the Post Office's response seems a little disingenuous, it opens up some interesting options for future stamps. After all, Vegas also has an Eiffel tower, a Brooklyn Bridge and a Sphinx, all of which are brighter and shinier than the originals.

With the Statue of Liberty lighting the way, the time may have come for the Postal Service to show America the world, Vegas-style!
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