Heartbroken memorabilia displayed in former club house

The world's popular Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia opened its first exhibition on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai on Friday at the former Columbia Circle in downtown.
Ti Gong

Visitors watch a love memorabilia from the world's popular Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia at an exhibition at the former Columbia Circle in Changning District on Friday.

The world's popular Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia opened its first exhibition on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai on Friday at the former Columbia Circle in downtown.

Exhibits from the collection of the museum in Zagreb include love letters, old photos, dolls, and empty liquor bottles left behind from failed romance. Each piece is accompanied by a note from the donor, explaining its origin and significance.

Part of the exhibits were newly collected from Shanghai and other Chinese cities for the exhibition, according to the organizer. They are being displayed within the Navy Club on Yan’an Road W. near Panyu Road through July 31.

The museum was established in 2006 and has held 50 exhibitions in 29 countries. The founders of the museum, Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, used to be a couple. They started to develop the idea of a museum where they could rid themselves of the painful relationship but preserve the items they once share.

Ti Gong

Visitors watch a collection of exhibits from the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb at a local exhibition within the Navy Club of the former Columbia Circle in Changning District on Friday. 

Ti Gong

Olinka Vistica (right) and Drazen Grubisic, the founders and curators of the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia, launch the exhibition in Changning District on Friday.

"The exhibition in Shanghai features the most popular collections from the museum which involve personal feelings as well as various cultures and history," said Vistica, a curator of the museum.

The exhibition is part of an art festival launched at the former Columbia Circle, a social gathering place for Americans from 1927 to 1942 and became the former site of the Shanghai Institute of Biological Products after 1949.

It reopened to the public in May, featuring restored structures, as well as offices, entertainment venues and culture amenities.

During the WAV 2018 art festival, artists will hold events every week such as lectures, talkshows and art exhibition within the compound.

The first phase of the project being opened to public includes the Columbia Country Club, the Navy Club and a villa built for Dr Sun Yat-sen’s son, Sun Ke, along with 11 industrial buildings belonging to the institute.

The rebirth of Columbia Circle is part of a new approach to the preservation and restoration of protected buildings, which has long been under the purview of the city and district governments.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A preserved swimming pool in the Navy Club of former Columbia Circle in Changning District.

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