Aitch addresses mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis being painted over for album ad: “Getting fixed as we speak”

"This is the first time I've heard of this," the rapper wrote. "No way on earth would I want to disrespect a local hero like Ian"

Aitch has promised that he and his team are attempting to make things right after a mural of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, which had been a fan-favourite landmark in his hometown of Manchester, was painted over with an advertisement for Aitch’s forthcoming debut album.

Late on Tuesday (August 16), the rapper retweeted an image of the mural – located on Port Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter – being painted over, saying he had been previously unaware of his album ad being put there. “I don’t just choose locations for billboards, this is the first time I’ve seen it myself. Getting fixed as we speak,” he wrote.

In a separate tweet, Aitch – who is also from Manchester – elaborated: “It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork. 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.”

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Founding Joy Division bassist Peter Hook acknowledged the rapper’s intention to correct the situation, writing, “Thank you [Aitch] great gesture.”

Bernard Sumner, of Joy Divison and New Order, later added: “Seems as if someone’s misjudged this and it shouldn’t have happened but Aitch has said he’s going to put it
right so it will get fixed, no harm done”

The mural, based on a photo of Curtis taken by Philippe Carly, was painted by Manchester street artist Akse P19. It debuted in 2020 in collaboration with music and mental health festival Headstock to raise awareness around mental health issues, and was supported by Manchester Council.

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“It had become a cultural landmark and meant so much to people from Manchester and beyond,” Akse P19 wrote in an Instagram post about the mural being painted over. “It doesn’t take much common sense to understand that this mural should have remained for what it represented and stood for.”

Aitch’s debut album ‘Close To Home’ will be released this Friday (August 19).

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