cursory off-course

broken relate museum

in baroque palace

vain to miss visit

shared human heartache stories

infused in objects

more than failed romance

donated hurt mementoes

spill spilt up passion

new narratives heal

meaning meld or melt in muse

drain out better dream


Our city tour began on upper town of Zagreb, visiting old churches and government administrative buildings. It was getting a bit boring viewing the same, until a strange sign board, a Museum for Broken Relationship, was sighted.  It was weird. I strayed from the group for ten minutes and walked inside. Sweaters with “I Love Break-Up” slogans were for sales, and many books on display. I asked permission to take some pictures, and read a little about the museum. It was the first of the kind in the world, and the brainchild of Drazen Grubisic  and Olinka Vistica.  It collected objects and items parted by break up couples, objects that were too emotionally involved to discard and to keep. The ambivalence is not easy for outsiders to understand. It was entangled feeling of love-hate relationship. It is not too difficult to understand that the political and economic turbulence in Balkan have affected many couples, almost a third of the new weds. These donated loved objects might appear petty or even ridiculous, but the founder gave them the space to ventilate their grief, so that they might grow and glow in the healing process. They and visitors thus become spectators of passion and hurt feeling in the bricolage of reconstructed identities. It is interesting to note that there were some items of political nature. A previous fan of President Barrack Obama gave up his memento, when he found out that the promised political and social change  have not occurred  after the election except the President himself and his Nobel Prize for Peace. Maybe Encik Anwar or our Malaysian opposition leaders or followers surrender their mementoes when Dr. M failed in his pre-election promises.

Letting go of mementoes was a way of reconstructing turmoil in break-up, to look at hurt away from the hurt objects or scenario. The museum is not meant for break-up couples, but also for visitors, as messages on the dual nature of love are universal.

In a cyber world, we no longer interact face to face, not even in Face Book. Families who stay in the same house engage in cyber talk, not casual conversation. We read endless recycle forwarded mails and watch same quality video. In tourism, we travel and visit sceneries, live in hotels and eat in restaurants, we never have time in engage  in face to face talks, at best with a couple of fellow travelers. This is my lamentation.


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