The Zagreb Museum of Broken Relationships presents the diverse stories of past love and was awarded a special prize as the most innovative museum in Europe in 2011.
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is all about past love, painful experiences and bitter disappointments. Numerous objects, each with its own little story, tell the tragic love stories of real couples from all countries of the world.
In 2011, the Muzej Prekinutih Veza received a special prize from the European Museum Awards. It was awarded the "Kenneth Hudson Award", which is only given to innovative, exceptionally bold and possibly controversial museums. We also include this exceptional museum in our list of the top 10 places to visit in Zagreb.
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Exhibits in the Museum of Broken Relationships
What do you see in a museum of fleeting love? The brightly lit exhibits are as diverse as they are unusual. Often they are everyday things, not very museum-worthy, but occupied with painful memories in a quarrel or during a break-up, which are brought back to life through the narratives associated with them.
There is, for example, the "ex-axe" with which the ex's furniture was smashed, or the "crazy divorce day garden gnome" whose nose was broken when it hit the windscreen and asphalt, just like the marriage.
Among the most bizarre exhibits are strap-on breasts from Serbia or edible panties from Switzerland. Other objects, such as photo albums, stuffed teddy bears, jewellery or wedding dresses, can be inferred without much analysis as to their background.
Emergence of the Museum of Broken Relationships
The origin of the museum goes back to a Croatian artist couple. Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić were newly separated at the time and no longer wanted to be surrounded by the painful memories of their relationship. In order to cope with the separation more easily, they collected all the objects connected with their past love in a special place.
The idea took on a life of its own and soon similar keepsakes from friends were also represented. From August 2007, their relationship debris went around the world as a travelling exhibition. In November 2010, they came to rest in Zagreb and can be visited daily since then.
The collection grows
The founders Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić continue to collect private objects individually related to failed relationships. Anyone can donate an object to the museum and do so completely anonymously if they wish. The only condition is the associated story, which will then be published in the museum.
Whether pure exhibitionism, self-expression or therapy, most of the donors are just happy to give new meaning to hated relationship relics in a cabinet of like-minded people.
Official website of the Museum of Broken Relations in Zagreb