A NEW memorial has been laid to replace Ian Curtis’ stolen headstone but the search goes on for the original.
Fans of the late Joy Division lead singer were shocked when his memorial stone was taken from Macclesfield Cemetery a month ago with police appealing for its return.
But since a fruitless raid on a house in Winsford there have been no new clues as to its whereabouts.
Ian’s wife, Deborah Curtis, was "in a state of disbelief and shock" after the stone was stolen from the Prestbury Road site and laid the replacement. Her husband hanged himself in a Barton Street flat in 1980.
But former Joy Division and New Order drummer, Stephen Morris, from Rainow, said that it’s a shame for fans that the original is gone.
According to the council, the stone attracted 1,000 visitors to the town each year from around the world.
Stephen, who was a pupil at King‘s School alongside Ian, said: "I can’t understand what has happened to the stone but it’s an awful thing for someone to do.
"People go around nicking road signs but a person’s gravestone is very personal and the person who took it needs help. I suspect it could be on someone’s mantlepiece and that one day they may try and sell it back to us but it’s hard to say.
"The person who took it cannot be a true fan and it’s a shame for the people who come a long way to see the grave and put flowers on it.
"I am glad there is a replacement as I often go to visit the cemetery but it was a shock that the old one had gone."
Beverly Richardson, bereavement services officer at Macclesfield Cemetery, said: "People haven’t stopped coming to visit the site, even with no stone, and they come from all over the world.
"Like the rest of us, the fans think that it’s sad that the thief didn’t show more respect."
Inspector Gareth Woods, head of Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: "Unfortunately we have nothing more to go on at the moment.
"It’s strange as we thought the stone would turn up or we would get information as the theft has had so much publicity. It’s a global news story so I’m sure we would know if someone had tried to sell it on. Whoever has the stone obviously intends to keep it but if anyone knows anything it could still help the investigation."
The memorial was taken between lunchtime on Monday, July 1, and the following morning.
Contact Cheshire Constabulary on 0845 458 0000 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 with any information.