New Order frontman Bernard Sumner has spoken to NME about the campaign to buy Ian Curtis’ house and turn it into a Joy Division museum.
The Macclesfield property was recently put on the market for £115,000. “I had an email about it last night, and I don’t think Debbie [Ian’s widow] and Natalie [daughter] are very keen on the idea and obviously they’re closest to it, so we have to abide by their wishes first,” said Sumner.
Speaking at the NME Awards 2015 with Austin, Texas earlier this week in a video which you can watch above, he continued, saying he was ‘torn’ by the idea. “It’s a difficult one,” he commented, “because one part of my head says it’s a monument to Ian and it would make a great museum, but the other part of me says, well, it’s a bit ghoulish and it’s a bit of a monument to suicide as well. I’m torn down the middle over it, really… To me it’s a place of sadness. It’s not really a place that I’d want to go to.” Sumner played in Joy Division with Curtis until the singer’s death in 1980, before forming New Order.
The two-bedroom property at 77 Barton Street, Macclesfield is currently on sale and featured on Rightmove. The listing reads: “Situated in a popular and central location, this double-fronted character cottage offers spacious accommodation with two reception rooms, two double bedrooms, a good size kitchen and a shared courtyard garden.” Curtis took his own life in the property on May 18, 1980 at the age of 23, days before the band were due to undertake a US tour.
Fans are trying to group together to buy the house in order to prevent developers from getting it. Zak Davies, who started the campaign, said on its website: “As important as every member of Joy Division was to the band, one member that made the difference was Ian Curtis. The troubled yet gifted singer and lead guitarist has impacted upon so many peoples lives.
“Recently his final home and the place where he spent his final moments has gone up for sale in Macclesfield. Rather than it be taken by developers or sold for development, we feel a place with such cultural significance with such an important man attached deserves to be made into a museum and somewhere that Joy Division fans from around the world can come to pay respects and learn about Ian Curtis.”