The grave of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis has been vandalised with the gravestone being stolen.

Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy and was known to endure heavy bouts of depression, committed suicide at the age of 23 as Joy Division were preparing their first North American tour. Having taken his life shortly before the release of Closer, the band disbanded and the formation of New Order arrived.

Despite having such a short career, Curtis’ unique singing style combined with both his fascinating personality and stage presence, managed to propel the band into the mainstream and touch the hearts of many. His untimely death was met with shock and the discussion around mental health was brought to the forefront.

Still a local hero in Lancashire, fans have been awoken to the news that Curtis’ grave located in cemetery in Macclesfield has been vandalised and ransacked. “The stone was noticed as missing by a fan visiting the memorial on Saturday,” said Marko, a member of the Joy Division Central site. “While first impressions were that it had been stolen, and there was some evidence of an attempt to remove the larger stone with the inscription on it, there was nobody at the cemetery over the weekend to report it to,” he added.

He continued: “I must stress, there could have been, and still could be, an innocent explanation. However, Ian Seivwright, who took the photos, visited the cemetery this morning and the staff were unaware at that point that the stone had been taken.

“The concern is somebody may have tried to steal the inscribed stone too.”

 “A rare mowing stone has been taken or removed, we believe over the weekend,” a spokesman for the cemetery told Cheshire Live. “It is about a square foot with a hole for a floral tribute, it is purely there for aesthetics, there is no inscription on it.”

Thankfully, after the incident was promptly reported to authorities, the cemetery have cleaned up the issue and replaced the stone. “Somebody came today to report it stolen. We have since replaced the stone.”

[MORE] – Listen to the final interview of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis before his death in 1980

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