Exhibits at Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships range from the idiosyncratic to the downright bizarre. Photo: Images-Europa/ Alamy/ Indiapicture

Axes, Toasters & Belly Button Lint: Inside the Museum of Broken Relationships

Closure and chuckles in Zagreb and Los Angeles.

You can’t spell “heartbreak” without “art”. At least that’s what the Olkina Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, co-founders of The Museum of Broken Relationships believe. Over the last decade, the former couple have collected hundreds of artefacts from spurned lovers and lonely hearts—garden gnomes, letters, toasters, an axe, even teddy bears—that have been exhibited in the entirely crowd-sourced The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. Each exhibit is accompanied by the duration of the relationship, where it took place, and an anonymous note from the sender.

Earlier this month, Vistica and Grubisic decided to open a second outpost of the museum in Los Angeles. And since the world has a seemingly endless supply of love gone pear-shaped, submissions began flooding in within a week of their announcement. Among the more sedate souvenirs—cologne bottles and rocks found on long beach walks—museum director Alexis Hyde and her team received a heap of dried contact lenses, belly button lint, and a Brazilian Playboy collection. There were also digital submissions of course, including texts, emojis, and Tinder tales.

Some exhibits are hilarious, others are heartbreaking, but they all, even the most prosaic of entries, have the tinny ring of truth. Click through to view the museums’ more unusual displays.

P.S. The L.A. museum is still accepting submissions. For more details on how to send your amorous souvenir to them, click here.

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    Kamakshi Ayyar is Features Writer on National Geographic Traveller India's web team. She's partial to places by the sea and desserts in all forms. When she isn't raving about food, she's usually rambling on about the latest cosmic mysteries. She tweets as @kamakshi138.

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