Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb

Have you ever wished to unburden the emotional load by erasing everything that reminds you of the painful experience of breaking up?

Ok, that was a rhetorical question. But you can do just that and turn it into art! How? Read on.

Idea surpasses everything

Literally everyone goes through hardship of ending a relationship, but one couple made all the difference in the world. The love story of Olinka and Drazen lasted about 15 years before they decided it was time to go their separate ways.

When they had conversations about what to do with their mutual belongings, it stirred the emotions and resulted in an idea one of its kind.

Olinka and Drazen were aware that many couples go through this rough path of emotional baggage linked to – well, stuff. We attribute and associate memories onto objects that often trigger us in various ways. We sometimes box them in dark places in order to deal with them “later”, we burn them, give them away, destroy them or cherish them depending on how the relationship ended.

Pain is often a deep source of creativity because every ending inevitably marks a new beginning.

Museum of Broken Relationships | Total Croatia

The Museum of Broken Relationships started in 2006 as a joint-author art project of a former Croatian couple. Since then it unstoppably grew into an internationally known affair.

Permanent collection is exhibited in Zagreb’s Upper Town, an area picturesque enough to hold on to the emotions of past lovers. The collection contains entries from all over the world; Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Berlin, Cape Town, San Francisco, Manila, Singapore, London and Paris just to name a few.

Donations are accepted since day one and about 15% of them are currently exhibited in the space of the museum.

Europe’s most innovative museum

Anybody can donate and thus go through somewhat cathartic experience of relieving some of the ghosts of the past. All the donations remain anonymous and the donors attach a story to the item they donate.

The variety of items and stories is astounding but the underlining feeling of broken heart is universally understood. Heartbreak goes beyond cultural and linguistic boundaries and the emotions every human goes through are exactly the same. This is what makes this museum so special.

In 2011 it was recognized and awarded Kenneth Hudson award for the most innovative museum in Europe.

Museum of Broken Relationships | Total Croatia

Brokenships café

The visit to the museum is quite extraordinary. It is different for everyone but it always manages to touch and move in unusual ways.

Love stories presented in the museum will make you cry, think and maybe laugh a little but most certainly will erase the invisible distance modern society faces today. We all have blood under our skin.

The space of the museum is designed to have a complete experience. There is a museum shop and a museum café on spot. In the shop you can find witty souvenirs that you can save or give to someone as a present.

Museum of Broken Relationships | Total Croatia

The café is a place of exchanged impressions, lisp whispers, a few tears and a million revoked memories. The founder of the museum, Drazen, says he enjoys overhearing people’s conversations about their impressions and the sensations the exhibit brought.

Quite and pleasant atmosphere is complemented with rich coffee aroma, fragrance of lemon and lavender cookies, different teas and a glass of mulled wine, a local specialty.

The exhibits:

Museum of Broken Relationships | Total Croatia

20 years

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The divorce day garden dwarf. He arrived in a new car. Arrogant, shallow and heartless. The dwarf was closing the gate that he had destroyed himself some time ago. At that moment it flew over to the windscreen of the new car, rebounded and landed on the asphalt surface. It was a long loop, drawing an arc of time – and this short long arc defined the end of love.

 

Museum of Broken Relationships | Total Croatia

2002

Zagreb, Croatia

„I love you“ – WHAT A LIE! LIES, DAMN LIES! Yes, it’s like that when you are young, naïve and in love. And you don’t realize your boyfriend started dating you just because he wanted to take you to bed! I got this teddy bear for Valentine’s. He survived on top of my closet in a plastic bag, because it wasn’t him who hurt me, but the idiot who left him behind.

Silver lining

Museum of broken relationships is a social museum capable not only of safeguarding, but also of communicating the collective and personal emotional heritage. Mixed feelings, doubts, ups and downs found shelter in this cosy place under one roof.

Contrary to what its title suggests, the museum is full of resilience, hope and inspiration. It has introduced in a big way the discourse of love into the museum field, challenging common perceptions of the role of the museum in our society.

 

Have you heard of this unique museum? Would you like to pay a visit? Would you donate your items to the Museum of broken relationships?

Do you think ideas like this redefine art?

 

Author: Nikolina Dukić

Photo Credit: (1) Premshree Pillai, (2) Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships

 

Museum of Broken Relationships: the best way to heal a broken heart | Zagreb, Croatia