- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ZAGREB, CROATIA (AP) - What becomes of a garden gnome hurled in fury at a car during a stormy breakup?

Or a teddy bear that was once a Valentine’s Day present? A wedding dress from a marriage gone awry? An ax that smashed through household furniture?

All are on display at the Museum of Broken Relationships in the Croatian capital, each with written testimonies telling tales of passion, romance and heartbreak.

On Valentine’s Day, the museum sees its visits almost double.

“The objects that are here represent all the stages of a breakup … and how people go through love,” said Drazen Grubisic, a designer and artist who co-founded the museum in 2010 in the Croatian capital.

“We might say it’s a love museum, just upside down,” he said.

The mementos _ collected from all over the world _ are random and varied, ranging from fake rubber breasts to a cast from a broken leg. Each item comes with dates and locations of the relationships, and notes by their anonymous donors.

Some are funny. The note next to a garter belt says: “I never put them on. The relationship might have lasted longer if I had.”

Some are bitter. The garden gnome flew over a car driven by a husband who turned “arrogant and heartless.” It bounced on the asphalt, shattering its face.

“It was a long loop, drawing an arc of time … that defined the end of love,” the note from Slovenia said.

An ax from Berlin was used by a woman to smash every piece of furniture her girlfriend had left behind.

“The more the room filled with chopped furniture, (the more) I felt better.”

The text by a blue frisbee reads: “Darling, should you ever get the ridiculous idea to walk into a cultural institution like a museum for the first time in your life, you’ll remember me.”

The museum, located just across from Zagreb’s City Hall where couples get married, currently displays some 100 “relics” out of about 1,000 that have been collected from around the world.

Parts of the collection have traveled as far as Manila, London and Singapore to be put on display. In each city, the heartbroken can donate their stuff to the Zagreb museum.

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