Manchester rapper Aitch has apologized for accidentally painting over a mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis with a promotion for his new album Close to home. The advert went live in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Port Street today ahead of the album’s Friday release date. “It has come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street was painted over with my album cover,” Aitch tweeted. “This is the first time I’m hearing about it, me and my team are getting this fixed Pronto. There’s no way I would want to disrespect a local hero like Ian.” The rapper also said he doesn’t know where the ad will be placed, but will correct the situation immediately. “Thank you,” Curtis’ former bandmate Peter Hook replied on Twitter.
The mural by Ian Curtis was first unveiled in October 2020 and painted by graffiti artist Akse P19. It is based on a photograph taken of Curtis by Belgian photographer Philippe Carly and was designed to help spread awareness of mental health as part of an initiative by Manchester City Council.
Akse captioned on Instagram:
Well my mural of Ian Curtis based on the original photo by @philippecarly was painted over to promote the release of a new album, I personally don’t mind hand painted ads as that’s what I do for a living but this mural was done in collaboration with @headstockuk painted and endorsed by @manchestercitycouncil and @sweetnothingmcr to raise mental health awareness and support @giveusashoutinsta, a free texting service helping 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 a lot of common sense to understand that this mural should stay for what it represented and what it stood for.