Scabs, axes and heartache: Zagreb museum champions lost love for Valentines Day

The privately run Museum of Broken Relationships has thousands of pieces, some ordinary, some odd, each an emblem of a dying romance

Published : 14 Feb 2024, 05:43 AM
Updated : 14 Feb 2024, 05:43 AM

A scab from an old motorbike accident. An unworn wedding dress. A prosthetic leg. An axe. As the world celebrates Valentines Day on Wednesday, one museum in Zagreb has collected objects that commemorate sometimes bizarre tales of love lost.

Established in 2006 on a secluded street near Zagreb's main square - a favourite meeting place for lovers and friends for decades - the privately run Museum of Broken Relationships has thousands of pieces, some ordinary, some odd, each an emblem of a dying romance.

"It's not the objects, but the stories that are intriguing and inspiring and emotional," said museum co-founder Drazen Grubisic.

"For me this is a museum about love. We just may have a different view on love when it's over."

A Croatian war veteran donated a prosthetic leg as a memory of his affair with a defence ministry worker he met during his treatment. The leg outlasted the relationship.

A Turkish woman donated a wedding dress she never wore because her husband-to-be passed away a month before the ceremony.

One person gave an axe that they had used to chop up their ex-girlfriend's furniture. Another donated a 27-year-old scab from a lover's motorbike accident. The person, a biologist, once wondered if they could use it to clone their loved one.

"The desire to clone my partner from that time exists no more," the person said in a post on the museum website.

A book by the British hypnotist Paul McKenna called "I Can Make you Thin" is among the items displayed in the museum, donated by a woman who received it from her partner.

"Do not buy this book and give it to a loved one, if you want your relationship to last," Grubisic said.