Any breakup comes with its fair share of mess, and I’m not talking about the fights, the recriminations and the dividing up of friendships. I’m talking about the physical detritus, the flotsam and jetsam of love, imbued with the heady scent of memory. If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind taught us anything, it’s that you can’t erase the past. But you can get it out of your house.
With this message from The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, your physical and emotional baggage issues may be solved:
“Recently ended a relationship? Wish to unburden the emotional load by erasing everything that reminds you of that painful experience? Don’t – one day you may regret it. Instead, send your item to our museum and take part in the creation of a collective emotional history!”
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The Museum of Broken Relationships was set up in Zagreb in 2006 and now includes everything from lacy handcuffs to paperback books to a gingerbread cookie. Each has a story attached. The collection has travelled around the world, accumulating new items at every stop. And this year, the Melbourne Writers Festival is bringing it to Melbourne.
For a truly global perspective on romantic grief – in addition to the remnants of Melburnians’ heartache – the museum will bring items from its permanent collections in Zagreb and Los Angeles.
It’s the perfect chance to get rid of that shirt that still carries his smell, that photo you took together in Bali, or the lamp she kept by the bed, which she always switched off while smiling at you so it was the last thing you saw before you slept, until suddenly the smiling stopped. Or, you know, whatever.
The Museum of Broken Relationships will be at No Vacancy Gallery from September 1 to 29. Find out how to contribute an item here.