The Museum of Broken Relationships

I was leafing through the Independent on Sunday and came across a travel article on Zagreb. It mentioned the Museum of Broken Relationships which immediately fired my writer’s imagination.

The museum contains exhibits that each recall the breakup of a relationship. Each object is accompanied by a narrative telling its story such as:

  • A lover’s mobile phone, given to the girlfriend he’d just broken up with, so that she couldn’t call him anymore
  • An axe that was used on the furniture of an unfaithful partner
  • A garden dwarf that was thrown at an ex’s windscreen on divorce day

The place sounds like a building full of writing prompts with a whole wealth of relationship stories, just waiting to be written. There’s a cafe there too – so somewhere to sit and jot down notes whilst enjoying  mulled wine and pepper cookies (the house specialities according to the website).

The museum also accepts new exhibits from people wishing to get rid of stuff that reminds them of a painful breakup. What would your hero or heroine donate?

Look out for the museum’s touring exhibitions, there was one in Lincolnshire earlier this year and one in London in 2011 – if only I’d known I could’ve collected enough ideas to last a lifetime! Instead I’ll have to save up for a flight to Zagreb …


P.S. I had an acceptance from People’s Friend this week – hurrah, a great way to end the year!


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  1. #1 by jakill on December 20, 2012 - 9:31 am

    Thanks for the heads up, Sally. It certainly sounds fascinating. And congrats on your PS. Was it for a story?

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on December 20, 2012 - 10:04 am

      Yes, Jean, it was a short story that People’s Friend accepted – no idea when it will be used though. I also had one accepted in the summer of this year and have just received notification that that one will appear in January.

  2. #3 by jac dowling on December 20, 2012 - 9:53 am

    Sally that’s such good news; congratulations – may it be the first of the new year, not the last of the old!
    south africa

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on December 20, 2012 - 10:06 am

      Thanks, Jac. All the best to you, over in South Africa for 2013! I expect you’ll have a much warmer & drier Christmas than us!

  3. #5 by Vikki (The View Outside) on December 20, 2012 - 10:44 am

    Oh wow! That museum is brilliant!!!! :)

    Congrats on your acceptance from People’s friend. I’m off to go check out that website!


  4. #8 by Linda on December 20, 2012 - 11:43 am

    Well done on the PF acceptance – lovely Christmas present!
    That museum sounds fascinating. Sad, but as you say, full of stories.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on December 20, 2012 - 12:20 pm

      Yes, it is sad, Linda. But maybe the fact that people feel able to donate these items, means that they are over the worst and ready to move on.

  5. #10 by susanjanejones on December 20, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    Sally, that’s fab fab and well done on People’s Friend. I have it every week, and scan the writers, looking for your name. So it’s January, oh I am thrilled for you. I can’t wait to read your story. Both of them. I keep aiming for People’s Friend, they set such a high standard, I feel if you can write for them it’s only going to get better, besides which, once they’ve taken one story, I’m sure they’ll take more notice of you next time, hence two stories. Great news. That museum sounds too sad, but I’m sure it’ll only grow bigger:((

    • #11 by Sally Jenkins on December 20, 2012 - 8:16 pm

      I think the difficulty with Peoples Friend, Susan, is making all the characters nice – even the baddies! Good Luck with your PF stories and everything else in 2013 (especially after the shop goes).

      • #12 by susanjanejones on December 20, 2012 - 9:35 pm

        Thanks Sally, feels slightly daunting, but as one door closes another one opens, so I’m sure we’ll be o.k. Forgot to tell you I put you on the list of inspiring bloggers on my blog.

  6. #13 by Tracy Fells on December 21, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    Well done Sally on PF story. I keep looking every week for mine to come out so now I can look out for your name too!
    The museum sounds brilliant. Actually any museum, or specific exhibitions, can be wonderful for writing prompts if the ideas are not flowing well.

    • #14 by Sally Jenkins on December 21, 2012 - 7:55 pm

      I’ll keep my eye out for your story too, Tracy. It would be nice if we were in the same issue! And you’re right – there are lots of museums, stately homes etc that can get the writing juices flowing.

  7. #15 by Maxi on January 9, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    Congrats on the story! Fascinating about the museum. I agree it would be a good place to pick up ideas, but is it just me that thinks it’s rather a sad place too?

    • #16 by Sally Jenkins on January 9, 2013 - 6:12 pm

      I guess it is a sad place, Maxi. Unless you try and see the positive – the end of a relationship can also be treated as the start of something new and the chance to move on to better things.

  1. Inspiring Objects | The View Outside

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