Postcard from... Zagreb


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The Independent Online


Housed in a collection of rooms in Zagreb's Old Town, the Museum of Broken Relationships does not detail the violent breakdown of relations between the constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia that afterwards led to war; instead it deals with relationships on a more human level, displaying hundreds of objects donated from people around the world that remind them of a particular part of a failed relationship.

From watches and clothes worn on the day of get-togethers or the day of break-ups, to locks of hair and dildos, each exhibit comes with a short description from the person who donated it.

There is an edible g-string (unopened), whose giver "turned out to be as cheap as his presents," and a pair of fake breasts that one woman's husband asked her to wear during sex as he did not think hers were big enough.

There is also an axe, purchased by a jealous lover and used to demolish every single piece of furniture belonging to her errant partner.

As well as the kinky and the downright sinister, there are many objects that are truly touching, such as a poem written by a husband who was dying of a genetic disease, or city maps annotated with restaurants and sights to see; evidence of romantic weekends that had long since been forgotten.

The museum no longer accepts unsolicited donations but still regularly receives them by mail. Its purpose, according to the sign at the entrance, is to give people "a chance to overcome an emotional collapse by creation; by contributing to the museum's collection".