Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships is unique. Well, it was unique - but as of Saturday June 4, this most quirky attraction has seen its very first franchise open in Los Angeles.
Since Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić founded it in 2006, the Museum of Broken Relationships has become one of the Croatian capital’s bucket-list places, capturing the imaginations of the 400 visitors that pass through its doors daily.
The concept is strange but simple: the exhibits are relics from relationships that, in one way or another, have ended. It might be a postcard from a long-distance lover, or the favourite outfit of a late mother. They were all submitted by members of the public, they all tell a story about loss – and most of them can make the most cynical visitor shed a silent tear.
A forward-thinking tourist called Mr John B. Quinn is behind the museum’s American venture. Quinn, a businessman and co-founder of one of America’s leading attorney offices, visited the museum while holidaying with his family last year. He was inspired: everyone could relate to this museum because everyone, so he told the Wall Street Journal, had experienced some sort of relationship.
Within a few days a spark had become a solid plan, and he set to work creating the LA franchise. One year and over a million dollars of invested money later, it opened. As it stands, 300 donated items are on display in a space of roughly 1,000 square metres. We’ve yet to see if it will be a success, but if it’s to follow in Zagreb’s footsteps, it’ll have droves of people rushing in to have their hearts thoroughly broken.