Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia

When one loses a loved one, a whole range of feelings and reflections follows. The line between love, hate and desperation is a thin one, and while some will express their feelings in a flash of anger, others prefer to record their memories through pen and paper or by holding on to symbolic objects. The Museum of Broken Relationships collects it all from across the world, thanks to voluntary donors. In a soft blend of melancholy – and, in a certain way, poetry – this true keeper of an emotional heritage is a one-of-a-kind museum.

The Vault, Hard Rock Cafe, London, UK

As soon as you set foot in this electrifying café, ask the staff about The Vault. They’ll lead you down to the basement, where you’ll get a peek at rare relics of rock ‘n’ roll – from Madonna’s controversial bustier (and her old Amex Gold Card) to an Elvis Presley coat, a David Bowie guitar, mythic Sex Pistols memorabilia and, of course, a Beatles artefact or two. Don’t miss any details.

Photo © Hard Rock Cafe London

Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Kakadu National Park, Australia

The next stop on your bushwalking trek in Australia’s largest national park: a turtle-shaped museum offering a treasure trove of information about Kakadu aboriginal culture. Explore both past and present through art, artefacts and age-old stories told by elders, then admire local artists as they perform their craft, and whose works are on display and for sale.

Musée de la Vie romantique, Paris, France

A couple of doors down from buzzing Sacré-Coeur, this museum is a haven of peace that lives up to its name. A favourite spot of the Romantic movement’s major protagonists – and former home of painter Ary Scheffer – you’ll find a permanent collection of paintings and portraits of the artists, including George Sand’s impressive “dendrite” artworks. To end this bucolic visit on a tasty note, don’t miss the little garden café just beside the house, brimming with flowers in the warmer months.

[Photo: Alexkalmn via Wikimedia Commons]

Mmuseumm, NYC, USA

Describing itself as “a small place for big ideas”, Mmuseumm is like no other, drawing its inspiration not only from the city streets, but also from the strange world around us. Mission accomplished for this non-profit organisation with its curated selection of discarded everyday objects, all magnified on the tiny shelves of a New York elevator shaft. The collection changes with the rhythm of the seasons, and knows how to keep you hooked.

[Photo: Alex Proimos via Wikimedia Commons]

Glaciarium, El Calafate, Argentina

If the road to the museum already gives you a nice view of what Patagonia has to offer, just wait til you reach it, with Lake Argentino stretching before you. In its interactive environment, composed of 3D animations and scenographies detailing the formation of glaciers and other Patagonian natural wonders, Glaciarium will delight both young and old. For a relaxing – and refreshing – break, visit the ice bar downstairs, the perfect stop before or after your tour to admire the Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.

Freud Museum, London, UK

This well-preserved former home of the father of psychoanalysis features many personal belongings among a collection of antiques. Not only will you have access to Freud’s writing desk and iconic psychoanalytic couch, but you’ll also get the chance to learn more about his daughter Anna, the key figure behind the museum’s creation and perhaps most passionate advocate of his work.

Movie Madness Museum, Portland, USA

With such an incredible collection of films, the largest video store in the world could easily keep its reputation as such, but they decided to add a twist – or rather, a small museum. Its theme? Cinema, of course! Having caught the collecting bug in the 1990s, store owner Mike Clark has succeeded in creating a suitable space for Hitchcock’s legendary knife, Ingrid Bergman’s chair in Casablanca, and so much more film memorabilia.

The Cambodian Landmine Museum, Cambodia

Featuring a re-creation of a mined area and offering tours with many poignant anecdotes, this museum is also an NGO: a home for disadvantaged children who have been affected by landmines is attached to the museum, a testimony of the continuing effects of wartime atrocities. Any visitor can offer a donation for the children, either online or on-site, or purchase books, pens and other gift shop items that help support this noble cause.

[Photo: Bengt Oberger via Wikimedia Commons]

Skissernas Museum, Lund, Sweden

Part of the lovely university campus of Lund, this museum is all about the creative process of an artwork, starting from its very beginning. If sketches of Swedish artists have their own space, you will also discover drawings and models from abroad. Even sculptures are featured here, and you’ll find a few of them in the park outside – including the famous Knotted Gun by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, a powerful symbol of the pursuit of nonviolence.

Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin, Germany

Discover modern art in all its forms at this small museum hosted in a Berlin mansion. Since 1997, art collector Erika Hoffmann has opened her 1,400-sq-m house to the public every Saturday on appointment. A dedicated team will guide your stroll through the spacious rooms, where one catches a glimpse Basquiats, Richters and Warhols in a museum made for daily

Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, Canada

More than showcasing fabrics from around the world, the TMC tells the story behind them and their connection with art, through various mediums. This summer’s special exhibitions perfectly illustrate how the museum mixes genres and eras: from Frida Kahlo seen through a lens, to how textiles influenced the likes of Picasso and pop art prince Andy Warhol. You’re sure to find a curated showcase that suits your interests.

Museo della Carta e della Filigrana, Fabriano, Italy

Enter the world of hand-produced paper in one of the few cities where people are still manufacturing paper the old-fashioned way. In a museum fully dedicated to this special practice, you will learn about the history of paper and its various incarnations, while getting a peek at the production process and watching the artisans as they master their craft – a real insight on the subject.

Article by Anissa Tijani

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