The Las Vegas artist behind the Statue of Liberty replica outside New York-New York will have several million reasons to celebrate this Independence Day.
Robert Davidson was awarded nearly $3.6 million last week by a federal court that ruled the U.S. Postal Service infringed his copyright when it mistakenly used an image of his statue on a stamp.
The government agency began issuing the stamp that depicted a close-up of the Las Vegas-based Lady Liberty in December 2010. The Postal Service believed it was the face of the Lady Liberty that has stood in the New York Harbor since 1886.
“Originally, they didn’t know it wasn’t the real Liberty, but it is a great picture, so I’m not at all surprised that they would use it,” said Randy Shepard, owner of Vegas Stamps and Hobbies on West Washington Avenue and North Rainbow Boulevard. “And I think it’s pretty cool that it ended being a Vegas statue.”
Davidson did not return a request for comment, but his lawyer Todd Bice released a statement to the Review-Journal Tuesday.
“Robert Davidson is pleased that after a full trial, the Federal Court of Claims recognized the significance of his artistic work in creating the Las Vegas Lady Liberty statue and enforcing his copyright,” said Bice, of the Las Vegas law firm Pisanelli Bice.
Bice said he expects the Postal Service to appeal the decision.
Davidson, born and raised in Las Vegas, completed the Statue of Liberty replica in 1996 for MGM Resorts International when the casino operator opened its latest theme casino New York-New York.
Davidson said in court documents that he wanted to give his replica a face that was “a little more modern, a little more feminine” and looked for inspiration from a photograph of his mother-in-law, Lucille Schwartz.
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