Joy Division Mural Repainted in Manchester After Being Scrubbed for Amazon Music Ad

The mural now lives on the side of a pub near Piccadilly railway station

Photo: Manchester City Council

BY Kaelen BellPublished Sep 11, 2023

The iconic mural of Joy Division's Ian Curtis in Manchester has finally been repainted after it was covered last year by an Amazon Music ad for UK rapper Aitch's debut album Close to Home

As noted by NME, Akse, the original mural artist, received planning permission to repaint the mural on the side of a pub near Piccadilly railway station after negotiating with the local government. The new piece, based on the same Philippe Cary photo as the original, was unveiled yesterday to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. 

Aitch quickly apologized when word originally broke of the mural's destruction, saying he would work to have it replaced. New Order's Bernard Sumner said at the time, "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." Peter Hook also thanked the rapper for his response. In yesterday's post, Akse thanked Aitch, along with Manchester City Council and the music and mental health festival Headstock. 

Of the newly painted recreation, Aitch said in a statement: "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."

The original mural was painted in 2020 as part of a mental health awareness initiative. Akse said on social media at the time of its destruction that it "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."

See Akse's post about the new location below. 

A post shared by Akse (P19 Crew) (@akse_p19)

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