While it might seem an easy mistake, this was an error of epic proportions.

In 2010, the US Postal Service released a series of commemorative stamps entitled "Statue of Liberty Forever" to mark 125 years of New York's most famous statue. Unfortunately the picture chosen to put on the stamps was the wrong statue.

The error was noticed by the photo agency Sunipix, who identified it as "Liberty Enlightening the World" in Las Vegas.

The image used by the stamps is not of Bartholdi's famous statue, but one commissioned by to stand outside the New New-York Hotel and Casino, on the corner of the Las Vagas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue.


This blunder cost the Postal Service a fair bit of embarrassment, as well as some hefty legal fines. Sculptor Robert S. Davidson has taken the USPS for copyright infringement, a suit that has resulted in Davidson being awarded US$3.5 million (NZ$5.1m) in damages.

Although based on the famous green giantess of Liberty Island, Davidson argued that his version was one of a kind.

A report in the Washington Post stated that Davidson's claim rested on the argument that he had "brought a new face to the iconic statue — a face which audiences found appeared more 'fresh-faced,' 'sultry' and 'even sexier' than the original."

The mistake was noticed three months after the stamps were released. By this point 3 billion stamps had been issued and were already in public use, infringing on Davidson's design.

A;though the USPS was quick to admit the error, the court case has taken eight years to resolve. At the beginning of the month the court ruled in favour of the Vegas Liberty's sculptor.

Davidson makes it sound as if it should have been obvious. How dare the postal service choose the wrong, "Sexy" Liberty?

However, we wouldn't like to pick her out of a line up.

Since the original's construction in 1885, there have been literally hundreds of replicas of the famous statue built across the world.

From statues in Paris and Bordeaux to at least four in Japan's cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Misawa - it's an instantly recognisable icon but one that has been reproduced many times.

Could you recognise the real statue of liberty? Take our quiz to find out.