Museum of heartbreak in Harbin attracts over 15,000 visitors

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying in Harbin | | Updated: 2019-05-05 15:28
Remains of a breakup are displayed at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. [Photo by Zhou Huiying/]

A museum in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, telling stories of heartbreak has attracted over 15,000 visitors in ten days.

"Since the beginning of March when I posted messages on different online social platforms looking for remnants of breakups, I have received more than 1,000 calls from all over the country," said Liu Yan, 25, organizer of the Museum of Broken Relationships.

"After listening to their stories, I accepted about 100 items from 50 people, ranging from dozens of railway tickets to handwritten letters, a pair of shoes, an unusable mobile phone and a new wedding dress."

Liu quit her job as a tour guide in March and put all her savings of about 200,000 yuan ($30,000) into the business.

"All the items and stories have special meaning to the donors," she said. "Some donors hope to help themselves to get rid of the pain from breaking up through sharing the items and stories, while some donors expect to help those in sweet relationships to cherish their lovers."

"Walking around the museum brought back lots of memories of my ex-boyfriend," said Dong Xin, 23, a senior student at a university in Harbin. "We ended our four-year, long-distance relationship last year."

"I still keep all my train tickets between our two cities," Dong said. "Now I hope the owner of the museum can accept them."

"I plan to regularly reprise the exhibition and bring the museum to different cities in the future," said Liu. "I also keep in contact with the donors. Whenever they want to get back their belongings, I will return immediately. If they completely give up, I will preserve their items for them."

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