Mugs featuring the quintessential red and white checkerboard pattern, T-shirts, colourful umbrellas from Šestine, licitar hearts, wattle, ceramics, moulds of Croatian sculptor’s artwork, miniature houses made from plaster of Paris, paintings depicting motifs of Zagreb, the dove, crystal ware, knit wares, handicraft, ball-point pens, ties… these are just some of the typical souvenirs that will remind tourists of their visit to Zagreb. Moreover, Zagreb also has a lot to offer to those who wish to take home a part of the cultural tradition of Zagreb; an original souvenir that will remind them of the exhibitions and theatre shows they have seen.
One of the most attractive addresses of culture is certainly the Museum of Broken Relationships in the Upper Town, which is a one of a kind museum in the whole world, both in terms of concept as well as its collection of original souvenirs. Following a visit to the museum one can take home some of the “soppy” objects: satchels containing a plaster to mend a broken heart, a T-shirt with a tear print on it, a bad memories eraser, and a pencil that can be broken in two “in rage”. There are also inexpensive scratch-cards featuring apparently positive break-up lines – when scratched they reveal the sadder facet of a broken relationship.
The Museum of Contemporary Art also has modern souvenirs on offer. Its two gift shops are a veritable treasure chest of mementos of Zagreb and of Croatian artists. On the first floor one can purchase replicas of the most popular works from the Kožarić Atelier (for example T-shits and printed bags). True collectors with somewhat deeper pockets can leave with a serious souvenir: a map containing six original Kožarić drawings. On the museum’s second floor there is a specially designed “Shopworks” boutique which stocks objects inspired by works of Croatian and foreign artists that have been revamped by young designers. “A Faulty Ruler” is a response to André Cadere’s fascinating round wooden sticks; Boris Bućan’s “Fire Bird” is offered as the infamous element of female seduction – stockings; Josip Vaništa’s “Endless Stick” has been transformed into an “Endless Pencil”, which is not used for writing but for erasing messages.
The gift shop of the Museum of Arts and Crafts has a growing collection of different objects: there are replicas of artworks created during each of the large exhibitions that have been held at the museum, such was the “Art Déco and Art in Croatia Between the Two Wars”, including fridge magnets and picture postcards styled as contemporary originals from the 20s and 30s of last century, a collection of silver and gold jewellery and many others.
The Croatian National Theatre is one of the city tour highlights. Over the past few years it has launched an excellent collection of souvenirs. For example, in 2010, the 150th anniversary of its existence was the inspiration behind all of the collections being themed around the number 150, including top of the range, uniquely designed jewellery. There are also souvenirs inspired by the most popular theatre shows – the Ballet collections; puzzles and a USB stick depicting the wooden soldier from the Nutcracker ballet, the Hamlet collection which includes souvenirs in the shape of musical notes and skulls, whereas a souvenir from the opera “The Bat” is a namesake set consisting of sparkling wine and two crystal glasses.