The Museum of Broken Relationships does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a travelling collection of mementos submitted from a worldwide canvas of those scarred by love’s burn.
The museum, which has permanent residence in Croatia, also has a touring exhibition. Last week the exhibition left The Tristian Bates Theatre in Covent Gardens where it was housed for its London leg of the tour.
Admission at the Tristian Bates Theatre was £3.50 and each ticket allowed you to re-enter the exhibition as much as you liked for a week from the date of issue. I assume the more popular option was to pass on the ticket to a friend which is how I obtained mine (thanks!) .
It was through my relationship with a friend that I was allowed to witness the souvenirs from the demise of other people’s relationships in the museum.
The museum itself was small but that worked well as it bred an overwhelming sense of intimacy, perfect for the subject matter on show. There was something rather beautiful about the simplicity of the displays and how they are presented. I know that I am dedicating a lot of typing energy to what essentially was a black painted room with white lit platforms which shelved the artefacts but these foundations set the mood.
The items in the museum were extremely varied. From the conventional postcards and stuffed toys to the unconventional magic 8 ball and prosthetic leg. What was my favourite part of the exhibition was the blurb which accompanied the images, submitted by the broken hearted to which the object once belonged to. The pleasure in the exhibition, for me, was weaving in and out of other visitors in silence, reading these descriptions off their illuminated block. It was through these words that these disembodied objects were given flesh and a history.
I laughed, I was indifferent at bits but most of all I got very sentimental.
There is not yet any news on where the exhibition might tour next but if you are visiting Croatia and want to get a little bit sentimental than I would differently recommend this.