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The Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of  broken relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Broken light bulb
We love, we lose, we hurt, we struggle, we heal, we move on. Here are some stories from the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Broken light bulb
Sent from Cape Town, South Africa
He loved doing things for her. He mowed her lawn, installed a shelf at her house, changed her tires. She was sweet and helpless. Then on June 25th she called him to replace a light bulb. As he was unscrewing the old light bulb, she said to him, “By the way, I’m calling this whole thing between us off. We’re just not working”.  He walked out with the light bulb as she shouted after him, “Aren't you going to put the new one in? Don’t I deserve that much?” He replied, “Hell no, you don’t deserve anything from me.”

Number 2
Sent from Manila, Philippines. 
Summer 2007
“He had another woman and couldn’t make me his number 1. I couldn’t stand being his number 2.”

I can’t make you thin by Paul McKenna
Sent from Horncastle, England
This book was a present from her ex-fiancé. It’s obvious where this story is going. It started out as a “happy and loving relationship and ended the complete opposite”. He had an obsessive, controlling nature and her appearance didn’t please him. She was hurt by the gift from him but in the end, was relieved she didn’t marry him. They were together for four years. She’s only angry at herself for not leaving him sooner. She never missed him after they broke up.

Museum of broken relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Holy water bottle
From Amsterdam, Netherlands
She met him in the summer of 1988 in Amsterdam. He was from Peru and traveling in Europe by train. They met at a disco and again on the street. He went home with her and they stayed together for two months. Then he was gone. He left her a note and a holy water bottle of the Virgin Mary he brought from his home country. Apparently he had a bunch of these holy water bottles in his bag. She never saw him again after that. 

“We go to foreign cities in search of sensuality and possibly love.”

Espresso Machine
From Paris, France
For 20 years he loved her and the coffee she made for him from the espresso machine he gave her. Then one day he no longer loved the coffee. And then he no longer loved her and left. 

“From undying love, love dies.” Jalal Tofik

Museum of broken relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Sea turtle pendant
From Berkeley, California, USA
17 November 2012 - 29 December 2014
He gave her a sea turtle pendant after he came back from visiting his wife in Hawaii. She loved it. And he thought she would like it too. Then on Thanksgiving Day she went to a dinner at his home in Berkeley. His girlfriend greeted her at the door. What do you know? She was wearing the same pendant from the same guy. “Makes sense”, she said. “Just think how much time it saves, buying both girlfriends the same thing.”  Don’t forget he was married. With two girlfriends on the side.

Museum of broken relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Wedding dress
From Istanbul, Turkey
19 November 2014 - 28 June 2016
His biggest dream was to have a summer wedding so they postponed the wedding from May 2015 to July 9, 2016. A week before the wedding they had their pre-wedding photoshoot. On June 28, 2016 while waiting for his bus to go home from work, he was caught up in a terrorist attack. He never made it to his wedding.

There are some funny stories in the collection, some incredible stories of why people stayed in an abusive relationship and some painful ones like the wedding dress which is a heartbreaking story. The contributors may have moved on but going through a broken relationship is never easy and may take years to get over. 

About the Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum was created for the “sole purpose of treasuring and sharing your heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. It is a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.” It “offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse though creation: by contributing to its collection”. The Museum has a considerable collection from traveling exhibitions in 40 cities worldwide. The permanent collection is in the Kulmer Palace in a historical part of the Upper Town. It changes its exhibition every four months. The Museum has won the EMYA KENNETH Hudson Award for the most innovative and daring museum project in Europe in 2010. Admission fee is 40 kuna. Please check website for current information.
Cirilometodska 2
Upper Town, Zagreb 

The mementoes shown here are from my July 2021 visit.


Images by TravelswithCharie


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