Artist News Releases

Aitch vows to restore Ian Curtis mural painted over with advert for his new album

By | Published on Wednesday 17 August 2022


There was outrage in Manchester yesterday when a popular mural of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis was painted over with an advert for the debut album by fellow local musician Aitch.

Unveiled in 2020, the painting of Curtis on Port Street in the city centre by artist Akse P19 was originally created to mark the start of the Manchester music and mental wellbeing festival Headstock that year. As well as paying tribute to Curtis, it also promoted mental health support service Shout and has subsequently become a popular landmark.

So there was anger yesterday as a picture circulated on social media showing that the mural was being replaced by an advert for Aitch, apparently commissioned by Amazon Music.

“Absolutely gutted to see our Ian Curtis mural painted over”, said Headstock on Twitter. “Such a shame when Amazon Music had pretty much any other wall in Manchester to choose from. Especially when it was created by Akse P19 to raise mental health awareness in support of Shout”.

Quickly responding to the anger being directed at him, Aitch promised to have the original mural restored. “I don’t just choose locations for billboards, this is the first time I’ve seen it myself. Getting fixed as we speak”, he said in response to the account that originally posted the photo of his advert going up.

In a further statement, he added: “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”.

It’s not entirely clear what restoring the original mural will involve or when it might happen, nor whether Aske P19 would be involved in that process. But we do know that Aitch’s debut album, ‘Close To Home’, will be released this Friday.