Manchester rapper Aitch apologizes for painting over murals
Manchester rapper Aitch has formally apologized for painting over a mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.
The promotion for rapper Aitch’s new album Close to home worked out Wednesday on Port Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, just ahead of the album’s release on Friday. The Manchester native tweeted little did he know the ad would be placed over the wall portrait of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. He promised to have the situation rectified “pronto,” while his management said they had been in touch with the mural artist to recommission the original.
“It has come to light that my album cover was painted over the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street,” 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 disrespect a local hero like Ian.”
Joy Division bassist Peter Hook replied on Twitter: “Thank you.”
Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980 at the age of 23. The two albums and several tracks he recorded as the lead singer of Joy Division inspired artists decades later. The remaining members of Joy Division continued to release music as New Order.
Curtis’ mural was unveiled in October 2020 and was painted by graffiti artist Akse P19 from a photograph by Philippe Carly. Manchester City Council commissioned the mural to promote mental health awareness. The initiative also sponsors @giveusashoutinsta, a free texting service to help people with mental health issues.
“So my Ian Curtis mural based on the original @philippecarly photo was painted over to promote the release of a new album,” Akse P19 continued Instagram about the incident. “Personally I have nothing against hand painted ads as that’s what I do for a living, but this mural was painted in collaboration with @headstockuk and supported by @manchestercitycouncil and @sweetnothingmcr to raise awareness of mental health.”
“It had become a cultural landmark and meant so much to people from Manchester and beyond,” Akse continued. “It doesn’t take much common sense to understand that this mural should remain what it represented and what it stood for.”