A mural of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in his native Manchester was painted over for an advertisement for local rapper Aitch's new album Close to Home yesterday. The mural was unveiled in 2020 in Manchester's Northern Quarter by graffiti artist Akse P19, based on a famed photo by Philippe Carly. It was painted in part to raise awareness and funds for mental health support in the UK, paying tribute to Ian Curtis who died by suicide in 1980.

Aitch, Joy Division's Peter Hook, and Akse P19 have all taken to social media to comment. Captioning photos of his mural before and after being painted over, Akse P19 wrote:

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... 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.

Hours later, Aitch 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.

Peter Hook responded, "Thank you @OfficialAitch great gesture." Aitch later added, "I don't just choose locations for billboards, this is the first time I’ve seen it myself. Getting fixed as we speak." See all the posts below.

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