Manchester rapper Aitch has apologized for inadvertently painting over a mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis with an ad for his new album. Close To Home. The ad went up today in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Port Street ahead of the album’s Friday release date. “It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork,” Aitch tweeted. “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.” The rapper also said he wasn’t aware of where the ad would be placed but that he would rectify the situation immediately. “Thank you,” Curtis’ former bandmate Peter Hook replied on Twitter.
The Ian Curtis mural first debuted in October 2020 and was painted by graffiti artist Akse P19. It’s based on a photo taken of Curtis by Belgian photographer Philippe Carly and was intended to help spread mental-health awareness in an initiative from Manchester City Council.
Akse captioned on Instagram:
So my mural of Ian Curtis based on the original photograph by @philippecarly has been painted over to promote the release of a new album, personally I don’t have anything against hand-painted advertising as this is how I make a living, but this mural was painted in collaboration with @headstockuk and supported by @manchestercitycouncil and @sweetnothingmcr to raise awareness for Mental Health and support @giveusashoutinsta a free text messaging services to help people with mental health issues, it had become a cultural landmark and meant so much to people from Manchester and beyond; it doesn’t take much common sense to understand that this mural should have remained for what it represented and stood for.