At „The Museum of past relationships“ letters, axes, tablets are reminders of love...


By: Nenad Randjelovic
The axe with which a girl destroyed her partner’s furniture, letters of former lovers, a garden gnome, tablets in which someone found comfort because of love troubles and the olive pits that are the memory of the nights spent together are just some of the objects you can see at the Museum of past relationships in Zagreb.
An unusual museum was founded by two Zagreb artists - a painter Dražen Grubišić and a producer Olinka Vištica. They were in a relationship from 1999. to 2003. and they've come up with this idea beacuse they didn't know what to do with all the objects they left behind after the break up.
The first exbition was in 2006. at the Zagreb salon, and for the next four years the exibition was travelling. The permanent exibition was opened in 2010. when they rented a space in Gornji grad near the church of St. Marko and near the most beautiful city view. Since then until today they visited several dozen countries in Europe and world.
The museum of past relationships is an art concept which, assuming that the objects represent common fields - “holograms” of memories and emotions, with its exhibitions wants to create a space of “safe memory” or “protected memory” - stands in the official museum description.
This museum insists on anonymity in order to avoid self-promotion, and it is that anonymity that leads to a complete honesty. At the beginning they had about forty objects from past relationships of their friends and acquaintances, and nine years later they’ve collected over two thousands objects they gathered travelling around the world. Not all of them can fit into museum, but Kenneth Hudson prize, which they received for inovative, provocative, even controversial accomplishment that questions the usual perception role of musems in society, holds a special place.
One of the most romatic, and at the same time the saddest story is from Sarajevo:
„I met you in the refugee convoy. I immediately fell in love, your blonde hair, your beautiful eyes attracted me like a magnet. Unfortunately, I'm leaving you soon, but I don't lose hope that I'll meet you again. We started together, trapped together, traveled together. Some spoke about my love for you, but I don't care about that because my love is endless. Elma, the most beautiful name in the world. I will remember you my entire life, because you are my first true love.“
Under the text, in red and in green pen was later added, in obviously a woman's handwriting, „I love you“ and „endless“. That is a story that testifies to the two hearts in love in the whirlwind of war in Sarajevo.
During the brief stay at the museum the number of visitors is surprising, they are mostly young tourists, but there are also older people who've come to see this unusual museum.
If you liked this story, maybe you'll, if you visit the Museum of past relationships reminisce about your never forgotten love and leave a memento of your own.