Have you ever found yourself holding onto mementos from past relationships?
An ex’s favorite pillow, an old shirt, or even a broken watch – these items often find a quiet place at the back of our closets, carrying with them a tapestry of memories and emotions.
But what if there was a place to give these objects a new life instead of letting them gather dust?
In the enchanting city of Zagreb, Croatia, such a place exists – the Museum of Broken Relationships.
This extraordinary museum was born out of the shared experiences of its founders, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, who first crossed paths two decades ago.
Olinka was collaborating with a French choreographer, and Dražen was a sculptor artist who frequently immersed himself in the world of clubs.
Their love story was filled with common interests and numerous adventures.
However, as their individual ambitions grew, their shared love began to take a backseat.
Their breakup was not a dramatic affair; it was more of a mutual decision.
But within this ordinary breakup, there lay an extraordinary object with profound sentimental value – a bunny plush toy.
When they traveled separately, they found themselves in a quandary: who should take the bunny?
This seemingly trivial dilemma triggered a profound reflection on how such ordinary objects could carry extraordinary emotional weight.
Seated in their kitchen, discussing the fate of the bunny, they realized that this emotional connection to inanimate objects was something that resonated with many people.
It was at this moment that the concept of the Museum of Broken Relationships was born.
The museum beckons people to contribute items from their past relationships that hold a deeply personal significance.
The museum’s beauty lies in its inclusivity. There are no rigid acceptance criteria; every item tells a story, and every story is worth sharing.
Whether it’s a love letter, a piece of clothing, or an eccentric keepsake, each donated item becomes a part of a global community bound by the shared experience of love and loss.
The donors are the storytellers behind these objects.
A distinctive aspect of this museum is that all item descriptions are written by the donors themselves. Initially, Olinka worried that this might lead to repetitive or uninteresting stories.
However, as the donations poured in, they discovered that people shared incredibly insightful, captivating, and often succinct stories, leaving visitors eager to learn more – akin to a movie trailer that piques your curiosity.
Just like any respectable museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships features a gift shop offering T-shirts, bags, chocolates, and other quirky items that carry messages about life and love.
The most sought-after item is the “Bad Memories Eraser,” a sizable eraser that never fails to bring a smile and a shared sense of recognition to those who see it.
One might question the complexities of working with an ex-lover.
Olinka and Dražen would tell you it was a 15-year journey, but they learned to collaborate and respect one another.
Their story is a testament to the possibility of creating something meaningful while honoring both oneself and the other person in the process.
The Museum of Broken Relationships serves a significant purpose – it offers people a means to release the reminders of past relationships and transform them into something positive.
Writing the story behind an object, packing it, and sending it to the museum provides a sense of relief, as many have attested.
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is not merely a quirky way to pass the time; it is a place where visitors can connect with others, discover how to overcome their own biases and acknowledge that the experiences of love and loss are universal.
It is a testament to the power of shared human connections and emotions that transcend borders and cultures.
Here’s a glimpse of some items donated at the Museum of Broken Relationships, each with a poignant story, taken from their website, Brokensips:
Two Figurines from Dublin, Ireland
Symbolizing a mother’s love and sacrifice, these figurines protectively represent her two children. Her heartbreak led her to escape her husband’s temper, forging a new life in Ireland.
A Postcard from Yerevan, Armenia
It is a poignant story of unrequited love, where a young man’s tragic end left a postcard as a silent reminder of emotions never shared.
A Gingerbread Cookie from Chicago, Illinois
A connection formed during Oktoberfest between an American diplomat and a man from Liverpool. It’s a bittersweet memory of a brief but intense encounter, culminating in a heartfelt message.
In each story, we glimpse the intricate tapestry of human relationships and the profound connections we all share.
The Museum of Broken Relationships stands as a testament to the enduring nature of these bonds, no matter where in the world they may be found.
Know more about this unique museum by watching the video here.