Joy Division fan plans museum after buying former home of Ian Curtis

Hadar Goldman paid £190,000 for Macclesfield property where Curtis lived with his wife and daughter until his death in 1980

Ian Curtis performing in Rotterdam. Photograph: Rob Verhorst/Redferns

The former home of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, in which the singer killed himself in 1980, is to be turned into a museum after a fan purchased the property.

The house, situated on Barton Street, Macclesfield, was where Curtis lived with his wife, Deborah, and their daughter, Natalie, until his early death in 1980.

It appeared on Rightmove in February with an asking price of £115,000 and a description as a “double-fronted character cottage” with “two reception rooms, two double bedrooms, a good size kitchen and a shared courtyard garden”.

Curtis, who had epilepsy and depression, took his own life in the kitchen of the home in 1980, aged just 23. The house was later used as a location in Anton Corbijn’s 2007 film Control, based on Curtis’s life.

Ian Curtis’s former home in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Photograph: Mark Campbell/REX

The house was bought by Joy Division fan Hadar Goldman after he discovered a sale was already in progress to another private buyer. Goldman, an entrepreneur and musician, payed the asking price of £115,000 plus £75,000 in compensation and legal fees necessary to reverse the transaction.

He said he was inspired by campaigners’ failed attempts to raise funds to buy the property to prevent developers from taking it. A petition on crowdfunding site Indiegogo had raised £2,000 before donations were passed on to the mental health charity Mind, in memory of Curtis.

“Although I paid £190,000 – nearly double the asking price – I felt as if I had to get involved, especially after hearing the plight of fans who had failed to raise the necessary funds to buy the house owned and lived in by one of the musical heroes of my youth,” Goldman said.

“Joy Division left a musical legacy which has influenced many of today’s bands. The Joy Division legacy deserves to be taken into the 21st century, to raise awareness into one of the most seminal bands in the history of contemporary music.”

A press release stated that Goldman’s plans to turn the home into a museum will involve the fan club and will embrace “fans, music lovers, friends and family, whether locally, nationally or internationally”.

Goldman added that any venture to preserve the heritage of Joy Division would be sympathetically conceived and developed.

“It will be developed using both heart and soul. The Joy Division heritage is one that needs preserving for fans around the world. When the time comes, we will welcome the input and ideas of anyone interested in being part of such an exciting project, commemorating a meaningful part of musical history.”

Curtis’s former Joy Division bandmate Peter Hook previously backed the bid to turn the home into a museum. He told the Guardian: “I think it’s a great compliment if someone wants to make it into a museum for a group that culturally changed music, not once but twice. Ian has such a fantastic legacy and the fact people are inspired by it all around the world can only be a good thing.”

But Joy Division guitarist and New Order member Bernard Sumner has said he was “torn” by the proposals as they ran the risk of turning the home into “a monument to suicide”.

Last year, the old kitchen table from the Macclesfield property was also sold on eBay for £8,400. The sale was referred to as “distasteful and upsetting” by Curtis’s former band members, who said that great distress had been caused to his family as a result.

From The Guardian

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