That's the question that filmmaker and content creator Mayuren Naidoo is trying to figure out. He's set himself up on a mission to witness every single piece of artwork in Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the flesh, including both paintings and statues.
He's about halfway through the list right now, having visited museums all over Europe. He's been to France to visit the Louvre, Spain to visit the Museo del Prado, Germany to visit the Alte National Gallery, and his hometown of London to visit the National Gallery, the British Museum, and the Tate.
That might sound like quite the pricey trip, but flying off-peak within Europe can be vastly cheaper than flying domestic in the United States! "When I go just to see the art, it’s usually just for one night, staying in cheap hotels and using budget airlines," Naidoo tells us. "Most of the time, I plan just to see the art, but there have been times where I’ve been able to do multiple things - such as when I first went to Paris, I went to Cannes after for the film festival!"
To save on money and time, Naidoo has allowed himself at least one concession: He's allowed to visit replicas. After all, the Animal Crossing art world is all about fakes, isn't it? With this in mind, he visited a museum in the south of England which houses replicas of the Terracotta Army for people to see without having to travel all the way to China.
To verify his trips to these artworks, Naidoo is making sure to take a picture of himself in front of the painting or statue, holding a custom amiibo card of himself, to accompany the Animal Crossing: New Horizons pictures of the artwork in-game.
How long will it take Naidoo to finish his quest? Well, he started in April 2022, when he went to visit the Proper Painting (A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, by Edouard Manet) at the Courtauld Gallery in London, and so we asked him how much longer he plans to work on the project:
"I should hopefully finish most of Europe by January and then have America, Japan and China left, but I’ve never been to America or Asia before so hoping to do [a trip] next year. The main delay would be Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man, which, although it is in Venice, is kept in a vault as it’s 500 years old and only brought out as special exhibitions every 7 or so years! So it does depend on how many replicas of the remaining arts will be used!"
Naidoo keeps track of his epic adventure with a very detailed and thorough spreadsheet, which details the names and locations of each painting or artwork, which gallery they're currently in, and they've all been sorted into episodes, which you can see on his TikTok.
Best of luck on your mission, Mayuren, and thank you for letting us see your glorious spreadsheet!
Let us know in the comments how many of the Animal Crossing artworks you've seen in real life! Also if they were fakes. You never know.