The Ian Curtis mural in Manchester has been recreated in a new location, following the original being covered up last year.
The original portrait of the Manchester music icon was located on the side of a house on Port Street since October 2020, however, outrage was sparked from Joy Division fans last August, when it was replaced with an Amazon Music advert, promoting Aitch’s debut ‘Close To Home’.
Now, after promising fans that the mural would be arriving back in the city, a replacement has popped up in a new location. It comes after councillors granted listed building consent for the new artwork to be located on the side of a pub close to Piccadilly Railway Station.
The new mural has been created by an artist named Akse P19, who added the finishing touches to the piece over the weekend. It was completed yesterday (September 10) – which was World Suicide Prevention Day – and paid tribute to the frontman, who died by suicide in 1980.
The artwork was commissioned by Headstock – the Manchester music and mental wellbeing festival – as well as with Aitch’s management company. Work for it also started last Monday (September 4), after permission was granted for it to be added to the side of the Star and Garter pub on Fairfield Street.
“It was important that we took the time to find the right location to ensure a long-term home for the artwork,” said Headstock Founder, Atheer Al-Salim (via BBC). He also added that it was “poetic” for the replacement to be added to one of the city’s indie music venues, and now one of the first things visitors see as they arrive at Piccadilly station.
Aitch – the rapper whose album previously led to the original being covered over – also expressed his joy for the new artwork, saying: “I’m so happy that Akse’s Ian Curtis mural has finally been reinstated in Manchester. The original mural was a cultural landmark for everyone, not just Mancunians.”
Following the initial piece being replaced by an advert for his debut album last year, the Manchester rapper revealed he was “fuming” at the mix-up, and promised to have the issue sorted for angry fans.
“It’s come to light that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street has been painted over with my album artwork,” Aitch wrote in a tweet.
“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,” he added, also revealing that the miscommunication left him feeling like “the most hated person in Manchester”.
Following the rapper’s response, Joy Divison and New Order member Bernard Sumner said: “Seems as if someone’s misjudged this and it shouldn’t have happened but Aitch has said he’s going to put it right so it will get fixed, no harm done.”
In a four-star review of ‘Close To Home’, NME described the record as showing a “newfound maturity from Manchester’s poster boy” that traced “a journey from Manny to the world and back”.