Aitch vows to ‘fix’ situation after Ian Curtis mural covered with album advert

The wall painting was unveiled in 2020.

17 August 2022

Rapper Aitch has said he is trying to fix the situation “pronto” after a mural of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis was painted over with an advert for his forthcoming debut album.

The wall painting on Port Street in his home city of Manchester’s Northern Quarter was unveiled in 2020 by street artist Akse P19.

Late on Tuesday, Aitch shared a photo on Twitter of the image being covered over with the visuals for Close To Home, which is due out on Friday.

The 22-year-old tweeted: “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.”

On Wednesday morning, the wall appeared to have been returned to a blank state.

Curtis fronted influential Salford post-punk band Joy Division for four years until 1980 when he took his own life, aged 23, on the eve of their first North American tour.

Ian Curtis mural
The mural of Ian Curtis had been unveiled in 2020 (Alamy/PA)

The quick response from Aitch, real name Harrison Armstrong, prompted a positive reaction from a number of famous Manchester artists.

Peter Hook, bassist in Joy Division and later in New Order, responded with thumbs up emoji and wrote: “Thank you @OfficialAitch great gesture.”

1990s electronic dance music group N-Trance and singer Rowetta from the Happy Mondays were also among those praising the move.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “Respect to @OfficialAitch for this. It should never have happened and he shouldn’t have been put in this position.

The wall had been returned to a blank state on Wednesday (Peter Byrne/PA)

“Ian is a true icon of our city. He must be fully restored and left in his place for time in memoriam. Thanks to everyone for showing what Ian means to us.”

In May, former members of Joy Division gathered for a mental health panel in the Houses of Parliament to mark 42 years to the day since Curtis’s death.

Following his death, the band continued under the new name of New Order, eschewing their dark post-punk sound in favour of synths and electronic beats, and becoming a powerful commercial force.

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