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Museum of Broken Relationships

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"Breaking up is never easy, I know," sang pop legends Abba in their 1977 smash hit Knowing Me, Knowing You.

Anyone who has experienced the end of a relationship - the loneliness, the emptiness, the heartache that followed - will know exactly what Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Bjorn and Benny were talking (or singing) about.

If you've ever had a partner that walked out of the door, reminders of their existence probably came in the form of hair in the plug-hole and a few once-treasured mementos.

The hair can be trashed but what about the mementos? Do they also end up in the rubbish bin, or do you put them in a box and place it in the attic? Well, now you have a third choice - you could send them to the Museum of Broken Relationships.

This unique, award-winning museum has a permanent base in Croatia but also tours the world.

In fact, you'll find it in Covent Garden until the 4th of September, with a collection of fascinating exhibits on display at two venues: the Tristan Bates Theatre and the premises at 38 Earlham Street. A number of shops in the vicinity will also have artefacts from the museum, so keep your eyes peeled when you're in the neighbourhood.

Items have been donated by people around the world who wanted to share the story of their once-treasured mementos.

Some of the notes telling the story behind the objects may tug at your heartstrings, while others will bring a smile to your face.

Current exhibits, some of which have been donated by Londoners, include a photo album, underwear (now there's a surprise), and a number of teddy bears. You'll also see a wedding dress and a rather sorry looking garden gnome.

And don't be alarmed when you stumble across the axe - that was used by a guy to rearrange the furniture belonging to a former girlfriend.

The Museum of Broken Relationships will touch anyone who has been through such an experience, yet it should also fill visitors with hope and show that the end of a union is not always a terrible thing, providing a chance to move forward and start afresh.

If you're feeling a bit delicate having just come out of a relationship, and think that donating a memento to the museum might help the healing process, click here to find out how to go about it.
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Why? It offers an intriguing insight into the lives of others.
When: Mon to Sat: 10am to 10pm; Sun 10am to 5pm
Where: Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower St, London WC2H 9NP
Cost: 3.50, and you can use your ticket to go back as many times as you like within seven days.
Oh wow! This sounds like such a brilliant exhibition/collection. Not only have I had my own breakup, with its own souvenirs, but I am also so fascinated by stories, and the things that help tell them.

I won't make it to the London exhibition, but the museum is definitely going on my list for my upcoming Europe trip. I think Croatia might be getting added to the list. I love museums that offer something a little different from the usual Natural History aspect.

Thanks for pointing me towards such an interesting exhibition. I think it sounds like a must see for anyone who has ever had a bad breakup, or hard to forget relationship.
By Natasha Stewart - senior reviewer
Saturday, 27th of August @ 01:31 pm
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