Rapper Aitch apologizes for painting over Ian Curtis mural

Manchester rapper Aitch has apologized for apparently accidentally painting over a mural of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis with an advertisement for his new album Close to Home and promised “to get this one [situation] firmly pronto.”

Stereogum noted the advert was placed on Port Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Wednesday ahead of the release of Aitch’s album on Friday.

“It has come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street was painted over with my album cover,” Aitch tweeted. “This is the first time I’m hearing about it, me and my team are getting this fixed Pronto. There’s no way I would want to disrespect a local boy like Ian.” He added that he wasn’t aware the ad would be placed over Curtis’ portrait, saying the situation was being resolved “as we speak.”

“Thank you,” Joy Division bassist Peter Hook replied on Twitter.

Aitch’s management announced that they had been in contact with the mural’s painter, Akse P19. “As soon as we found out what happened we contacted @Akse_P19 regarding the reinstatement of the original mural and are working closely with @ManCityCouncil,” they wrote. “The wall owner’s permission must be obtained before the original mural can be restored.”

Unveiled in October 2020, the Curtis mural was painted by graffiti artist Akse P19 (from a photograph by Philippe Carly) to raise awareness of mental health via an initiative by Manchester City Council.

Curtis was only 23 when he committed suicide in 1980, but the two albums and several non-album tracks he recorded with Joy Division have had a long-lasting impact on rock music’s decades to come. The other members of Joy Division continued as New Order.

Akse wrote on Instagram: “So my mural was painted over by Ian Curtis based on the original photo by @philippecarly to promote the release of a new album, I personally don’t mind hand painted ads as that’s how I make my living, but this mural was painted in collaboration with @headstockuk and supported by @manchestercitycouncil and @sweetnothingmcr to raise awareness of mental health and to support @giveusashoutinsta, a free texting service to help people with mental health issues, it was closed has 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 remain what it represented and what it stood for.”

https://variety.com/2022/music/news/aitch-joy-division-ian-curtis-1235343875/ Rapper Aitch apologizes for painting over Ian Curtis mural

Charles Jones

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