Ian Curtis's fame lives on years after his death
The memorial stone dedicated to former Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis has been stolen from a Cheshire cemetery.
Curtis was 23 when he hanged himself in the kitchen of his Macclesfield home in May 1980, shortly before the band were due to go on tour in the US.
Cheshire Police said the memorial stone was taken from where he is buried in Macclesfield Cemetery.
Officers are appealing for anyone with information on its whereabouts to contact them.
Detectives said the kerbstone, which has the inscription "Ian Curtis 18 - 5 - 80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was taken sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
A police spokesman said: "There is no CCTV in the area and there are no apparent leads as to who is responsible for the theft.
"This is a very unusual theft and I am confident that someone locally will have knowledge about who is responsible or where the memorial stone is at present."
Tony Barker, spokesman for Macclesfield Borough Council, which runs the site, said: "It would usually have flowers behind it and mementoes to Ian Curtis's life.
"It wasn't concreted in but tarmacked up to it.
"This has never happened before and we are agog that someone's gone to the trouble of taking it out. We are stunned."
Bill North, the council's services manager, added: "I'm shocked this has happened.
"Someone's gone to a great deal of trouble to remove the memorial stone and I hope our appeal will help return it as soon as possible."
Although the band reformed as New Order after Curtis's death in 1980, there has been an upsurge of interest in its work.
An acclaimed biopic about Curtis, called Control, was released in 2007 and a film documentary, called Joy Division, was released earlier this year.