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Aitch addresses painting over Manchester mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis

"No way on earth would I want to disrespect a local hero like Ian"

By Hollie Geraghty

Aitch (Picture: Cosmo Webber)

Aitch has promised to fix an advertisement for his new album Close To Home that was painted over a famous Manchester mural of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.

The rapper, whose debut album is out Friday (19 August), posted on Twitter yesterday that he’d become aware of the advertisement being painted over the iconic mural in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Port Street.

“It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork,” the rapper 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.”

Joy Divison bassist and Curtis’ former bandmate Peter Hook replied: “Thank you @OfficialAitch great gesture.”

Replying to one photo of the ad being painted, Aitch also wrote: “I don’t just choose locations for billboards, this is the first time I’ve seen it myself. Getting it fixed as we speak.”

The mural was painted by Manchester street artist Akse P19 in 2020 as part of an initiative to spread mental health awareness in the city.

Akse P19 responded to the mural being painted over 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.”

The post continued that 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 has described his debut album as  “a love letter to the city which shaped him” that will “reveal a well of hidden depths to surprise, delight and charm”. 

Last month, he launched free travel scheme to help music fans experience gigs this summer.