Opened in Zagreb in 2015, the Museum of Illusions was founded by two Croatians who have since taken the concept around the world. They speak to Time Out Croatia about their globally successful franchise.
How did the Museum of Illusions come about?
The Museum of Illusions concept was originally launched by the company called Metamorfoza and its founders and current shareholders, Roko Živković and Tomislav Pamuković, in Zagreb in 2015. Their main goal was the concept of edutainment, offering visitors a mix of education and entertainment, interactive and photogenic exhibits and rooms of illusion. Since then, it has expanded rapidly, currently operating at 35 locations around the world, including Toronto, New York, Dubai, Chicago, Athens, Vienna, Paris, Madrid and Istanbul. It has become the largest chain of private museums in the world.
How did it develop so rapidly?
After opening the first Museum of Illusions in Zagreb, visitors started to express their interest in this kind of museum concept very quickly because of its many advantages. The Museum of Illusions offers interactive, immersive and fun experiences for people of all ages. It features various optical illusions, exhibits and rooms, smart playrooms and a smart shop with various dilemma games, brain teasers, puzzles and games, also for all ages. When starting the project, the founders wanted to offer something new and fun for visitors in each location. This model proved to be interesting not only for locals but also for tourists who wanted to know more about the idea itself after enjoying their time at the Museum.
How have you expanded since?
Wanting to share our idea with as many people as possible around the globe and, at the same time, being contacted by a lot of people who previously visited the museum in Zagreb and were interested in our concept, we started to think about how to expand the brand globally. The franchise model proved to be the best, because of all the challenges when starting up a museum in a foreign country. In more than five years since the first museum, we have opened 35 all over the globe and are looking forward to further expansion. Recently we became the largest chain of private museums in the world.
Did you expect this kind of success – and why do you think people enjoy the experience so much?
The idea from the start was to offer something that visitors haven't experienced before, and the whole concept was launched to offer something fun, interactive and new. The whole team believed that the Museum of Illusions could achieve great success, looking back on what has already been accomplished – but it’s even better to look into the future with enthusiasm.
The Museum of Illusions is not a museum in the traditional sense, it’s a social and entertaining tour into the world of illusions that has delighted all generations, where you can try all the exhibits and, unlike most other museums, visitors are encouraged to take photos and have fun exploring the exhibits and solving brain teasers.
What plans do you have for the future?
Currently, the company's plan is to continue with further expansion of the team and museums across the globe, not only with franchises but also with company-owned museums.