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Exhibits at MBR

Museum of Broken Relationships

A museum of broken relationships, it’s about people breaking up, right? Well, yes and no.

The Museum of Broken Relationships, currently exhibiting in Zagreb and Los Angeles, displays objects that represent the end of a relationship. Sometimes this is between two people; a couple, parent and child, friends, neighbours, etc. Other times it’s the relationship between a person and an object, or a person and a part of themselves.

Walking around the exhibition, there are a huge range of items on show. Each has been sent in by someone, as a representation of the end of some kind of relationship in their life. Ranging in size, function and initial level of interest, only by reading the accompanying description will you know the meaning and story behind it.

MBR explanation

I was hesitant to visit the museum while in Zagreb. I’d just finished in a relationship and didn’t really fancy spending my time reading about people breaking up. Who does, really? However, I was intrigued, in the neighbourhood and had some free time. I am so glad I did visit, and it’s one of my favourite ‘museums’ ever.

It’s not often I’m captivated enough to read each placard, usually I just stop to read the odd one as it catches my eye. Here, I read every explanation that accompanied an item. And I wanted to take photos of them all because they were all so unique and relatable, funny or touching. I found myself laughing with some of the stories, broken hearted with others and some felt as though the story was mine, albeit with a different item.

Some of my favourite items in there have stayed with me long after I left:

– A bra – a lady was acknowledging the end of her relationship with her breasts after being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a mastectomy.

– A pizza dough box – following a gluten and lactose intolerance diagnosis, the sender had to end their relationship with their favourite food, pizza. So long, cheese.

– Basketball shoes – accompanied with the message ‘We played basketball together. He was straight, I wasn’t. He used to tell me about the girls he was seeing and it killed me inside.’

– A door with messages all over it – a lady had lost her son and his friends had covered their old front door with messages for him after he passed away.

– A parachute – a lady who had met her partner while parachuting, enjoyed a life together before he died in a parachuting accident.

Door at Museum of Broken Relationships

There are some things that are just a given in museums, like a cafe, gift shop and visitor book. Here, there are of course all of those, but flicking through the visitor book was like a little Ted Talk, oozing positivity and ‘you got this!’ vibes. I found myself connecting with some of the comments in there, almost as if they’d pulled the thoughts out of my head. I loved the whole experience so much, I even bought things from the gift shop, which I never do!

The Museum of Broken Relationships also has a website, with more items accompanied by stories on there. Compiled from across the world, those online are mostly stories of people breaking up. Some are more than a little strange, but it doesn’t really measure up to the physical exhibition. There, the range of stories is so wide reaching that you can’t help but stay engaged.

If it isn’t already evident, I would absolutely recommend a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships if you find yourself in Zagreb or Los Angeles.

You can see what I got up to in Zagreb here.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Happy Panda
    July 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Can’t wait to visit this museum when I start travelling again! Croatia is high on my to-visit places!

    • Reply
      Becks
      July 9, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Croatia is absolutely stunning, I really hope you love it when you get there! And I would totally recommend the museum! 🙂

  • Reply
    mytimetotravel
    July 9, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    What a wonderful idea.

    • Reply
      Becks
      July 9, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      That was my thought too, I’d never heard of anything like it before and really enjoyed the community feel of it.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    July 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    I also went there when I was in Zagreb. One of the quirkiest museums I’ve been to. The displays definitely generate a plethora of humor, sadness, and poignancy. There was also a Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles, but it’s since closed. In any case, the one in Zagreb is worth stopping over; I’d also recommend the Museum of Naive Art, which is just as quirky and enriching to see. 🙂

  • Reply
    lookingforthehigherself
    July 10, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Omg… I love this Museum and felt exactly as you did…. I was really touched by the woman who lost her son and gave the door of all his friends messages too… it broke my heart…

    • Reply
      Becks
      July 10, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      There were quite a few exhibits in there that were quite heartbreaking, I really felt like it was a bit of an emotional ride!

  • Reply
    Juliette
    July 14, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Suuper interesting! I heard about it some time ago and I really love the concept. It will be for sure a must-see if I go to Zagreb (or LA) one day, it sounds so interesting! In the meantime, I’m glad I got to read a bit about it, so thanks for sharing 😊

    • Reply
      Becks
      July 14, 2020 at 10:49 pm

      Id love to visit the LA one too (any reason for an LA visit!) because they’d be different enough to warrant it. So interesting though!

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