Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

The Museum of Broken Relationships

by : 
Nicole Salomon

The shabby walls are coloured in a plain white. They might express the feeling that something has been wiped out or taken away. At the start, one gets the impression of being in a normal museum where you walk from room to room and look at things like paintings or historical artefacts. The Museum of Broken Relationships, however, offers its visitors a glimpse into an intimate part of peoples’ lives: both women and men from all over the world sent in their personal belongings which they connect with past and broken relationships.

I only had a vague idea of what these items would be. There is a surprisingly great range of things in the little museum that is set in the beautiful old town of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. The things have been placed in different sections, representing break-ups from tragic and sad to downright hilarious. Some relationships lasted for a long time whilst others were only brief and passionate ones.

A woman from the Philippines sent a newspaper from NYC where she and her boyfriend had been building up their careers. The newspaper stands for the struggle of becoming successful together; within a few years though, the couple took different paths in life.
Another woman from Macedonia gave away a wisp of her hair that she had cut off after a short “crazy” relationship. She obviously needed a change …
The story about someone who ripped her partner’s furniture with an axe was the most fascinating one. The person said she used the axe as a therapeutic means, and to show her ex how much she had been hurt.

As you walk through the museum you will laugh your head off one minute and find yourself reduced to tears at another. This might happen in the room of unintended break-ups, that is, relationships that fell apart because one partner died.

Poems and letters, broken bracelets and glass are common symbols for the end of a pleasant, but sometimes also tough time.
People also sent wedding dresses, photo albums and things that helped them escape a relationship for good, like a bicycle or trainers.

This museum might not teach you anything about art, history or technology, but it shows a very humane aspect of life. Each individual story tells us that life will go on after a break-up. It might not be easy for a while but you will learn from your experience and grow stronger again.

Having visited a lot of “normal” museums, the Museum of Broken Relationships is definitely a good alternative and a creative way of making people think about their lives.


Would you like to visit the Museum of Broken Relationships? Why or why not? Have you ever visited an unusual museum?


hadia's picture
hadia 28 November, 2016 - 12:17

I 'm really surprised to learn that such museums do exit. It's really exciting to know that and I'd love to visit it. It's really unusual though.

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cklj's picture
cklj 6 July, 2016 - 16:59

I wish I have visited this museum when I was in Zagreb the last year. Actually I was planning to visit this museum, because when I was home I was looking for interesting places to visit in Zagreb, but unfortunately that didn't happen. So maybe next time. I haven't visited any interesting museums, just a few, but they were all fascinating.

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patchyplum's picture
patchyplum 11 January, 2015 - 08:18

I find this amusing and I would like to give a visit to this but perhaps, not with a broken heart of couse!!

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Fatime143's picture
Fatime143 17 March, 2014 - 11:15

İ wouldnt like to visit The Museum of Broken Relationships.İ never visited an unusual Museum.

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hakunamatata's picture
hakunamatata 15 August, 2014 - 14:52

I'll visit The Museum of Broken Relationships with pleasure. I like creative things and in my opinion it is really very unusual place. I'm shocked. I've never been an unusal Museum, but after this I'll try to find museums like Broken Realtionships and also I'll try to visit all that museums.

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saba's picture
saba 12 September, 2013 - 10:54

but who ever made this museum and had this idea was a genius and he or she must have had a bad relationship and s/he had a good way to express his or her feelings

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saba's picture
saba 5 September, 2013 - 12:10

i've never been heartbroken so if i go there i wouldn't have any emotions but someday if someone breaks my heart or crushes me i will definetly go to this museum
but i hope that day never comes for any one in the world

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Bosnianchild's picture
Bosnianchild 25 June, 2013 - 20:27

I wouldn't go in unusual museums,beucase it's not museum what I want to see.Times are changed a lot.But what I can to do?Nothing!

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Stela.M's picture
Stela.M 28 March, 2013 - 09:32

no....i don't want to visit this unusual museum makes me feel sad.....i want to visit the" love museum" is much more beautiful than broken relationships

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 9 March, 2013 - 21:09

Yes, i´d like to visit it ,I find it interesting. I´ve never heard from a museum like that. Maybe if one day someone breaks my heart i´ll send them something but I hope that doesn´t happen!

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merlin's picture
merlin 14 February, 2013 - 17:09

i would like to visit this museum it looks very interesting and because is something different i never have visited a unusual museum

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annahedd's picture
annahedd 29 September, 2012 - 19:43

I really would like to go and visit this unusual museum though I find it a little inappropriate to expose things that are supposed to be more private but at the same time I find it very helpful to get over a broken-up relationship as you what other people have been through .It kind of encourages you to continue your life regularly because whatever happened life must go on.
And no ,Ive never been to an unusual museum .

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margheloves1D's picture
margheloves1D 11 September, 2012 - 09:28

it's an original idea, but I think the real emotion you feel when it happens to you, not in a museum

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 3 August, 2012 - 05:50

Hi m.tayyab! I just wanted to say I liked the comment you wrote. Thanks and please keep on writing!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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m.tayyab's picture
m.tayyab 1 August, 2012 - 06:27

Broken relationships comes in everybody's life and they have to faced them. Broken relation can be get back it you want to reconnect them again by making your heart soft and cool for others.

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