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Museum Dedicated to Failed Relationships

Croatia's capital city of Zagreb is the home for an unusual museum. The Museum of Failed Relationships was founded by two Zagreb artists after the end of their four-year romantic relationship. The pair laughed about setting up a museum to showcase the many shared objects from their life together that now held complicated memories.

The joke snowballed, and the artists (collecting items from friends and visitors to their growing number of gallery shows) soon had over 1,000 items—each with a story—on their hands. "We might say it's a love museum, just upside down" says Drazen Grubisic, one of the founding pair. Their collection includes a shiny new axe (used to splinter the furniture of an ex-lover one item per day), pink fur-covered handcuffs (no description given or needed), and scarred and partially crushed lawn gnome (hurled at the car of a departing husband).

A kitschy wooden box (made from matchsticks) frames a little picture of a couple named Jelka and Valdo. Valdo made it for his wife Jelka on their wedding day. The description on the box reads:

After 18 years of marriage he left me for another woman; we officially divorced after our 25th wedding anniversary … [For our anniversary] I ordered a cake with the number 25 written on it and the pastry shop cut it in half. I sent him the half with the 25. Our sons celebrated our anniversary first with me and then with their father. He and his girlfriend were very shocked but they ate the cake anyway. The cake is gone and so is our marriage. I still have the box, two sons and a lot of memories …

While the items are personal, the feelings that come when love fails are universal. Each item is an intimate peek into how we strive for and often lose love. "Some [people who come to the museum] are laughing" Grubsic says. "But some … some are really thinking."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Divorce; Marriage; Commitment; Vows—Our love (and our failed love) for others; (2) God, love of; Christ, love of; Covenant—God's committed love for us. We're all hungering for a kind of love that won't ever let us down. That love is found in Christ.

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