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New museum wants leftovers of your lost loves

Written by: Staff
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ZAGREB, Apr 25 (Reuters) If you have ever wondered what to do with the painful reminders of a broken love affair the answer is here now: Donate them to a museum in Croatia.

Zagreb's new Museum of Broken Relationships already houses love letters, engagement rings, massage oils, a scooter, even the empty liquor bottles left behind after romance fails and it wants you to send it more of love's detritus.

''You recently broke up and have this irresistible urge to erase all memory of it?'' asks the museum on its Web site (www.brokenships.com). ''This museum allows you to get rid of things that trigger bad memories.'' The museum boasts some fairly forlorn items, including the artificial leg of a demobilised war veteran who fell in love with his therapist.

''The prosthesis lasted longer than our love. Better material,'' says a note attached to the prosthetic limb.

Each piece in the exhibit is accompanied by a note from the donor, explaining its origin and significance. Many notes ooze nostalgia or bitterness, betraying the hurt lingering after the end of an affair. Others are simply ironic.

The founders of the museum, Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, used to be a couple.

''We split up and started to talk,'' Vistica said ''What about all the objects and all the remains of our relationship.'' That's when they started to develop the idea of a museum where they could rid themselves of the painful detritus left over from their relationship but preserve them from oblivion.

Their friends then combed their collections of love memorabilia and made the first contributions. The idea quickly spread by email and word of mouth and took root.

''We got a really good response from lots of people and we got so many different things we never thought of, like the Vespa (scooter) or the artificial leg,'' said Grubisic.

Their museum is housed in a big metal container outside a ''real'' art museum in downtown Zagreb. The founders hope the city will help them turn the exhibit into a permanent collection accepting contributions from around the world.

In one corner is a ''confessional'', a box with a computer and a microphone behind a curtain where visitors can record how they feel about their lost love.

The founders believe that shedding the objects associated with a failed love affair is better therapy than destroying them, as some self-help books preach.

They also offer advice on their website to donors who may be tempted to check the Web site for the items they have abandoned.

''If the memories are still too painful, you can deny yourself online access to your memory trigger for three or six months or however long your recovery lasts''.

REUTERS SI KP0914

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