Many travelers enjoy trekking to museums during their many adventures, but after awhile, museum fare may start to blend together. Paintings, sculptures, pottery... What was the last thing you saw in a museum that had a lasting impact on you? Standing out from the crowd of thousands of art museums, The Museum of Broken Relationships promises an experience that you won't soon forget.
The museum was conceptualized by Olinka Vištica and DraÅ¾en Grubišić ”” a man and woman who dated for a time and then broke up. While going through their own breakup, they came up with the idea of a museum dedicated to the items that are leftover when a relationship ends.
Located in Zagreb, Croatia, the museum houses a collection of these leftover objects. Each piece is accompanied by a write-up from the person who donated it, explaining how the object encompasses the failed relationship as a whole.
The museum exhibits strike the perfect chord, being both relatable and also satisfying people's curiosity about how others live. The woman who donated this glass horse wrote that her husband bought it for her as a surprise when they were traveling in Venice.
"Just before we reached the hotel my husband kissed me on the cheek and gave me a small package. He said: Darling, I love you. I'll never stop loving you. You are my life. I answered: Me too, dear. When we entered the room, I opened my gift and saw the little glass horse.
20 years later, I am divorced. His love disappeared like the wind. I put the glass horse into the box beside the wedding ring and shut it. I say to myself: Don't cry! Tomorrow is a new day."
The objects range from the sad and sentimental to the truly bizarre, such as these fake breasts. The woman who donated them to the museum said that her husband bought them for her to wear during sex because he thought hers were too small.
"Description: a stupid Frisbee, bought in a thrift store, was my ex-boyfriend's brilliant idea — as a second anniversary gift. The moral was obviously that he should be smacked with it in the middle of his face the next time he gets such a fantastic idea."
The person who donated this axe wrote that their girlfriend fell in love with another woman and then left to take a vacation with her.
"In the 14 days of her holiday, every day I axed one piece of her furniture. I kept the remains there, as an expression of my inner condition. The more her room filled with chopped furniture acquiring the look of my soul, the better I felt."
One of the truly interesting things about the museum is the mix of sentimental or symbolic items with objects that appear to be everyday items, like this bowl. The woman who donated it to the museum wrote about how her partner always wanted her to bake bread because he found it erotic. But the bread ”” just like the relationship ”” never ended up being good enough for him.
"'I love you' — WHAT A LIE! LIES, DAMN LIES! Yes, it's like that when you are young, naà¯ve 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."
The labels that accompany each object are sometimes long, detailed accounts that describe exactly what the object meant to the couple. Some of the shortest ones pack the biggest punch, though, such as with this cell phone:
"He gave me his cell phone so I couldn't call him anymore."
One woman even donated her wedding dress, which she wore on her wedding day in 1994. At first, things in her and her husband's marriage were fine. But then, "slowly, the page turned. Impatience tipped the scales and brought a dark gray sky over our initial happiness, built a thick white wall between our fields of vision that stifled each feeling in its embryo."
The museum has developed a number of traveling exhibits that have appeared in countries all over the world, but earlier this year they announced exciting news. In addition to its permanent location in Croatia, there will also now be a brick and mortar museum in Los Angeles, California.
And the Los Angeles location is taking donations! If you live in the US and have an object you'd like to donate to document your own heartbreak, you can do so using this online form. In the meantime, follow the LA branch of the museum on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.