In Manchester, the iconic mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis was pasted over with an advert for rapper Aitch’s new album CLOSE TO HOME. After being made aware of this on Twitter, he promptly apologized and assured that, firstly, he didn’t know anything about it and secondly, he would make sure that Ian Curtis would be back as soon as possible. He would never treat a local hero like Curtis with such disrespect. “It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork,” he wrote. “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.”

    Ian Curtis’ fellow musician at the time Peter Hook responded briefly, kindly and gratefully to Aitch’s tweet. He thanked him for the gesture.

    The image of Ian Curtis on Port Street in the city’s Northern Quarter was created by graffiti artist Akse P19 in October 2020. It is based on a photo by Belgian photographer The Ian Curtis Philippe Carly. Its message should not only be to commemorate the Joy Division singer who died in 1980, but also to generate attention for mental health initiatives. Akse wrote on his social media channels: “[The mural] 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.”

    Aitch’s debut album CLOSE TO HOME will be released on August 19, 2022. It will feature Ed Sheeran, among others.