Not All Museums have to be Boring

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Courtesy of Nippon News

Courtesy of Nippon News

Courtesy of Nippon News

Charlotte P '18, Insights Page Editor

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We have been visiting them since our childhood whether through long field trips in elementary school or a day spent with the family. Some consider them interesting and enjoyable while others dread walking through seemingly endless exhibits only to stare at an art piece that can’t be appreciated or understood. However, it can be agreed that museums offer us knowledge and a new perspective in life, art, history, or science.

Inside The Rundetaarn Tower in Copenhagen, Denmark lies a very interesting exhibit called the Museum of Broken Relationships. The Rundetaarn Tower is a 17th-century tower built by Christian IV for astronomical observatory. Nowadays, the top of the tower houses the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is an exhibit consisting of objects from broken relationships that are donated by people from Denmark and the rest of the world.
First conceptualized in Croatia in 2006 by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a traveling exhibition revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins. Because people anonymously donate various objects from their own broken relationships, their contributions allow them a chance to overcome their emotional damage. The museum founders recognized that within society there are funerals to honor loved ones who passed, but there are no rituals or special ceremonies to honor a failed relationship or the person someone once loved. As a result, people embraced the idea of exhibiting their emotional legacy as a sort of ritual or solemn ceremony to help them find a sense of closure. The Museum of Broken Relationships celebrates and recognizes that the love experienced with certain people can never be fully erased from one’s memory. However, the exhibits give people the opportunity to move on with their lives in healthy manner through sharing their story to help and inspire others. It is helpful for the donators to finally let go of a painfully sentimental object and turn into an artistic piece that will positively impact others’ lives.

Shannon Pan ’15 visited this exhibit, and she remembers, “One thing that stood out to me was the museum’s description of what it stood for. I liked the concept of this museum giving people to share their stories. I saw many things that I could relate to, and even though some stories were far-fetched and crazy, there were still common themes that I could apply to my own life. I realized heartbreak and breakups are truly universal, and we as humans, need to accept this and find our own sense of closure. This museum made me remember that it is okay to be sad and that we are not alone.”

As Europe proves to house interesting museums, Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science showcased exhibits dedicated to a crazy and to some repulsive concept: poop. The exhibition is called Human Waste and Earth’s Future. Despite the unsettling and somewhat embarrassing concept of an exhibit dedicated to human excrement, the exhibit actually sends a deeper message. Through interactive pieces like a giant toilet slide, singing toilets with different faces on the lid, and turd-shaped hats, the exhibit’s main goal is to educate and normalize the topic of the toilet. Because toilet use and its contents are deemed taboo in many cultures, people fail to understand the environmental impacts of using the toilet. The exhibit educates on how 2.5 billion people in the world are unable to use toilets, which reminds people to be more appreciative of being able to use one. Furthermore, the exhibit explains to people who have everyday access to a toilet that by 2050, the world population is expected to exceed 10 billion. Therefore, it is important to bring awareness to finding the most eco-friendly toilet. Overall, Human Waste and Earth’s Future exhibit attempts to normalize the toilet and its contents in order to open up an important environmental issue that would otherwise stay unknown.

These two unique museums are just a tiny fraction of the numerous others in the world. So during the next free weekend that comes up, perhaps consider doing some research and discovering a quirky and interesting museum near you.

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