Ad Destroys Iconic Mural Of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis

18 August 2022 | 2:25 pm | Dan Cribb

"This is the first time I’ve seen it myself."

Joy Division fans in Manchester were shocked earlier this week to find the iconic mural of legendary frontman Ian Curtis had been painted over with an ad.

The artwork of Curtis performing in Brussels in 1979, created by graffiti artist Akse P19 for World Mental Health Day in 2020, was painted over to promote the latest album from rapper Aitch, who was quickly alerted to the situation and issued a statement.

“It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork,” he said. 

“This is the first time I’ve heard of this, me and my team are getting this fixed pronto. No way on earth would I want to disrespect a local hero like Ian.”

In response to a tweet describing the incident as “criminal”, Aitch added, “I don't just choose locations for billboards, this is the first time I’ve seen it myself. Getting fixed as we speak.”

The rapper’s swift action was met with praise from Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, who thanked him and said “great gesture”.

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When Hook was first made aware of the mural being painted over, he said: “That is very sad to see… it was such a wonderful mural. I will miss seeing that now on my drives into Manchester.”

Greater Manchester Andy Burnham also praised Aitch’s actions: “It should never have happened and he shouldn’t have been put in this position. 

“Ian is a true icon of our city. He must be fully restored and left in his place for time in memoriam. Thanks to everyone for showing what Ian means to us."