Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia - Something everyone can relate to!

Starting off as a travelling exhibition, and touring over 20 different countries, this collection of exhibits grew in such popularity, it is now permanently housed in the Upper Town of Zagreb, Croatia. This year it has won the Kenneth Hudson Award 2011 for the most innovative museum in Europe and was also runner up for Museum of the year 2011.
Now I have to admit, museums aren't really my cup of tea. When I think of most museums , I envisage them as being full of the intellectual types, stood there rubbing their chins, or worse, a bunch of school kids being irritatingly loud. But the name intrigued me and I've heard about it on more than several occasions so I decided that this time, as I travel to Zagreb frequently, to see what all the talk is about.
The idea is, that members of the public are free to donate any objects that are symbolic of a previous failed relationship. To go alongside it, you write a short story describing why the object in question is important, and what happened. There is everything in there from cuddly toys to a vibrator (much to my amusement)!
Now this could have gone either way. It is described as being a 'concept of failed relationships and their ruins'. So, in other words, I could walk out feeling happy that none of my past relationships could have been as bad or become instantly depressed with suicidal tendencies suddenly emerging. Turns out, it was brilliant! Some sad stories, some light hearted, some even heartwarming.

My personal favourite was:
2 years and 2 months, Belgrade – Zagreb
Description: a stupid Frisbee, brought in a thrift store, was my ex-boyfriend’s brilliant idea – as a second anniversary gift. The moral was obviously that he should be smacked with it in the middle of his face the next time he gets such a fantastic idea. Since the relationship is now preceded by the word “ex,” the Frisbee remains in the Museum as a nice memory and expelled negative energy. Feel free to borrow it if you like.
PS Darling, should you ever get a ridiculous idea to walk into a cultural institution like a museum for the first time in your life, you will remember me. At least have a good laugh (the only thing you could do on your own).
The frisbee in question wasn't actually on display, it was instead in London at the temporary exhibition there. In its place was a photo of said frisbee. Nearby hung a pair of ivory coloured suspenders. Its previous owners explained in the short story that she was bought them as a present from a former boyfriend but never wore them. She later came to conclusion that maybe if she had of, the relationship would have lasted longer!

I would recommend anyone with a sense of humour to go see this. Everyone can relate to the heartbreak and anger experienced both in and post relationships, which is perhaps why the exhibition has become so popular and at 20 Kuna per person (around 2.50 GBP) entry fee, its well worth it. Don't leave Zagreb without seeing it!

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