It’s completely understandable there are people out there who don’t like Valentine’s Day. Whether they’ve recently suffered a broken heart, been single longer than they’d like, or just think it’s a crappy excuse to sell candy and flowers, the holiday isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean you need to sit at home and be grumpy about it, if you live in Croatia, you might be interested in visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships.
What becomes of a garden gnome hurled in fury at a car during a stormy breakup? Or a teddy bear that was once a Valentine’s Day present? A wedding dress from a marriage gone awry? An ax that smashed through household furniture? All are on display at the Museum of Broken Relationships in the Croatian capital, each with written testimonies telling tales of passion, romance and heartbreak.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is open year round but, as the Associated Press reports, their visitor count doubles on Valentine’s Day. “The objects that are here represent all the stages of a breakup … and how people go through love,” said Drazen Grubisic, co-founder of the museum. “We might say it’s a love museum, just upside down.”
Not much of a stretch but the museum was created because of a breakup. “When Grubisic and co-founder Olinka Vistica, a filmmaker, split up, they got stuck when it came to dividing their sentimental memorabilia. They didn’t want to just get rid of it, so they created a museum.
From the museums website:
Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection. Whatever the motivation for donating personal belongings – be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity – people embraced the idea of exhibiting their love legacy as a sort of a ritual, a solemn ceremony. Our societies oblige us with our marriages, funerals, and even graduation farewells, but deny us any formal recognition of the demise of a relationship, despite its strong emotional effect.
Ironically, the museum is located across the street from the city hall where marriages take place every day. They currently have on display about 100 items out of about 1,000 that have been collected. “The mementos — collected from all over the world — are random and varied, ranging from fake rubber breasts to a cast from a broken leg. Each item comes with dates and locations of the relationships, and notes by their anonymous donors.”
If it were closer to you, would you make a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships on Valentine’s Day, or any day?
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