The Museum of Broken Relationships

Have you ever had your heart broken? Everyone’s been there, and now there’s a museum dedicated to it. Welcome to the Museum of Broken Relationships (MoBR), where you can see artifacts of people’s past relationships and read the stories behind them.

Conceived by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić when they were breaking up, the idea proved so popular that a permanent branch of the museum was opened in Hollywood last month.

Filled with donations from the public, items range from toys to trinkets, photographs, gifts and letters, and reveal the stories behind all sorts of relationships that didn’t work out.

An exhibit of a wedding dress stuffed inside a jar encapsulates the idea. Its owner had been persuaded into marriage, but after just five years, the man admitted he “probably” didn’t love her anymore. So, lacking any satisfying way of disposing something that once meant so much, she crammed the dress in a pickle jar, where it now invites all kinds of pickle-related metaphors.  

The museum has travelled the world now, from its birthplace of Croatia, to London, Paris, Brussels, the US and South Korea, and actually stopped by the Esplanade as part of the Singapore Fringe Festival in 2009. One of the local donations to the exhibit is a set of seven bras along with the enigmatic words “no wonder we were hidden”.

Other strange and poignant items include:

  1. A shattered letter on glass (“He broke up with me via e-mail. I thought that was lame. I deleted his e-mail, but saved the letter I had written. Since it was sort of a relic, I glued it to an old mirror I was getting rid of and shattered it.”)

broken glass letter

Image belongs to Robert Nyman

2. An axe (“When a woman went on vacation with her new girlfriend, her scorned ex-lover in Berlin chopped up her furniture with this ax.”)

axe museum

Image belongs to Robert Nyman

and…

If the traveling exhibit comes round again, what would you donate?

By Vincent Tan

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