What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted? They Get a Museum Exhibit

Don't burn the box of keepsakes from failed relationships just yet. There's a place for them in a Croatian art exhibit among other painful reminders of broken relationships and the bitter past.

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Duangkamon Khattiya / Getty Images

Valentine’s Day is not just for the lovey-dovey. The lovelorn, too, can wallow over Cupid’s holiday at the Museum of Broken Relationships, which opened at the National Centre for Craft and Design in a small Lincolnshire town in the English countryside, the BBC reports.

Croatian artists Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic are the brains behind the peculiar concept, and created the exhibit as a coping mechanism for the demise of their own relationship.

(MORE: 7 Romantic Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are Actually Useful)

All donations are anonymous, and meant as a cathartic exercise for the broken-hearted. Objects range from everything including a Taser stun gun, fluffy handcuffs, an axe (look out) and a garden gnome. “Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection,” the website reads.

Laura Mabbutt, an exhibition officer at the National Centre, said one of the more interesting items on display was a small bottle containing someone’s tears after a break-up. “It’s not just teddy bears, pieces of jewelry and love letters,” she told the BBC. “We’ve got some really exciting pieces and unusual objects and that’s one of them.”

The Museum of Broken Relationships remains permanently on display in Zagreb, Croatia, where it holds more than 700 “artifacts” from all over the world. The exhibit received acclaim earlier this year when it won the Kenneth Hudson Award for Innovation.

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