Museum of Broken Relationships – Zagreb, Croatia

I guess there is nobody out there who didn’t wish for love while blowing out the candles on a birthday cake or seeing a falling star or counting down for new year’s first day. We wish for love when we don’t have it and when we have it and break up we go and say “It is all a lie. There is no LOVE  anymore.” Somehow human beings can’t handle to live with or without love.  I want to share this article with you which is about a movie and a museum about love.

Broken Relationships Museum

If you are not into museums which are about history, culture, etnography or archelogy  then this museum in Zagreb, the capital of Crotia is just for you. You will read stories  and see memoirs of  lost loves and relationships in this museum.

Movie producer Olinka Vistica  and sculpture Drazen Grubisic’s four year love and relationship ended in 2003 and they broke up. They teased each other about setting up a museum with the left-over personal objects of their relationship. In 2006  Drazen called Olinka and said that he wanted to establish the museum. After that they started to collect the items from their friends’ break-ups and created the collection. The collection was shown to public in 2006 in Gliptotheque, an art gallery in the center of Zagreb.

Olinka & Drazen
Olinka & Drazen

The collection was on tour between 2006 and 2010 in countries such as Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Macedonia, the Philippines, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than 200000 people visited the exhibition. Along the way the collection received new items by new visitors and became bigger.

Vistica and Grubisic had many attempts to find a location for the museum from the Crotian Ministry of Culture but they were not successful.  Then they decided to make a private investment and rented a 300 m2 area. The first private owned museum in the city was opened in October 2010. It is actually more than a museum, it is a project of art. The creators believe in that objects are the trace of memory. They collected left-over items from finished relationships, protected it and created a safe memory. The museum is open everyday during the week and it is very popular among foreign tourists. The museum was awarded as the most innovative museum of Europe in 2011.

Broken Relationship Museum

There are stories behind objects like how we have many untold hidden stories. All items in the museum are anonymous. There is no information related to the donors but it has short story of each object. Here are some objects you will see in the museum; love letters, teddy bears, photographs, underwears, a prostethetic leg of a war veteran, mannequin hands, wedding dresses, stones, rearview mirror, an axe that is used to chop an ex-girlfriend’s furniture, airplane sickness bags, passport, cell phone, printouts of Skype calls and more.

Wedding Dressmannequin hands

 airsick_bags Old Objects

I really enjoyed the story of ex-axe.

She was the first woman that I let move in with me. All my friends thought I needed to learn to let people in more. A few months after she moved in, I was offered to travel to the US. She could not come along. At the airport we said goodbye in tears, and she was assuring me she could not survive three weeks without me. I returned after three weeks, and she said: “I fell in love with someone else. I have known her for just 4 days, but I know that she can give me everything that you cannot.”

I was banal and asked about her plans regarding our life together. The next day she still had no answer, so I kicked her out. She immediately went on holiday with her new girlfriend while her furniture stayed with me. Not knowing what to do with my anger, I finally bought this axe at Karstadt to blow off steam and to give her at least a small feeling of loss – which she obviously did not have after our break-up.

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. Two weeks after she left, she came back for the furniture. It was neatly arranged into small heaps and fragments of wood. She took that trash and left my apartment for good. The axe was promoted to a therapy instrument.


And here is the movie that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Eternal Sunshine Of Spotless Mind

I bet that the fans of Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey  have already watched this movie. It is the story of two madly lovers. We see how they met, their passionate love, their break-up and the efforts of trying to forget eachother.

Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind

The girl suffers a lot of the break-up and decides to erase all memories about her ex-boy friend from her memory. After the boy finds out that she erased him from her mind, he gets mad. “Will the boy erase her too? Will destiny bring them together?”  I will not tell the answers. But I suggest you to find the answers by watching this great movie, if you haven’t already done so! I have watched it many times.

There is no such memory erasing technology yet but I am sure if it exists, there will be many people who would want to do this. But if you want to get rid of the heritage of your ex love, you can donate your objects and its stories and lighten your burden. If you don’t take the thought, memories and objects of your past out, you can’t create new space for new people and things!

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