May 11, 2018 – Dubrovnik has a new museum, dedicated to the most popular subject in the history of mankind: love
Visitors to Dubrovnik will get to enjoy a new attraction this summer: Love Stories Museum, located near Pile Gate in the Old Town. Described as dedicated to “collecting and exhibiting personal love stories and items of great sentimental value from all around the world”, the new museum features a collection of objects emblematic to romantic relationships that have come to life at various parts of the globe. An uplifting display nestled in intimate, cozy spaces in the very heart of the beautiful historic city – seems like a perfect way to spend your afternoon.
Among the many objects displayed along the walls of the Love Stories Museum, you’ll find a coffee mug, a souvenir from Sweden that got an American woman and a man from France together. There’s also the story of a young man who met his future wife at a funeral, and an emotional story involving a couple going through a divorce who decided to give their marriage another shot instead.
That’s the global collection. Further on, you’ll learn about some local historical and mythical love stories – romance in Dubrovnik, the old-fashioned way. There’s also a separate display dedicated to romantic plots featured in films and TV series that were filmed in Dubrovnik; think Game of Thrones, Robin Hood and Star Wars. And to top it off, a music section, introducing the visitors to the people who inspired some of the greatest love songs of all time. Once you’re done looking around and swooning over the iconic romantic tales, you can leave your mark on the Love Wall – sign it, doodle a cute little pic, pin a couple selfie on it, and help create ‘the most romantic wall in the world’, as the museum website states.
It’s a lovely concept – fun, memorable, and engaging. It’s based on authentic local features, is sure to result in some remarkable memories for the guests, and makes for a great story to share once you’re back from your travels. But to be completely honest, it isn’t exactly original. An article published on DubrovnikNet referred to the new museum as ‘the first global collection of love stories and donated items of great sentimental value.’ Is it? The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb opened in 2010 as the first privately owned museum in the Croatian capital. Its founders, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, drew inspiration from their own breakup, as they were trying to decide what to do with all the reminders of the time they spent together. So they formed a collection, and the word was quick to get out – their friends, visitors and people from all over the world started sending in their own tokens of remembrance, adding to the vast fund of items wordlessly speaking of countless story endings and soul-crushing heartbreak. The project was – and still is – outstandingly popular, has toured more than ten countries including the UK and the US, and inspired the well-known American lawyer John B. Quinn to open a franchise in Hollywood.
A global collection of love stories and donated items of great sentimental value, made available to the public eight years ago. One project was inspired by beginnings and the other by endings, but it’s still love we’re talking about – love, and what it does to us, and our collective inability to forget the grand moments we shared with someone, regardless of how it all turned out in the end.
It would have been preferable for Dubrovnik to have gotten something entirely new and innovative, a truly original story, not a partial copy of another successful project that paved the way for other private museums in the country that opened their doors in the following years. That said, spring isn’t a season for cynicism, so it should be said the Love Stories Museum is a much-needed addition to the existing offer in Dubrovnik. The more versatile and vibrant a tourist destination is, the better. As pointed out in a piece on HrTurizam, it’s almost surprising for such an attractive location in a world-famous city to host a private museum instead of yet another apartment or a new restaurant. It’s interesting content and memorable stories that will have our guests returning year after year, and if said stories just happen to be deeply rooted in the city’s history, that can only be seen as a good thing. After all, no matter how corny or overdone they may seem, love and romance are the longest living subjects in the history of mankind – we’ve seen it all, we lived through it, and we still keep coming back for more.
Learn more about Love Stories Museum here.