Ottoman sultan’s portrait arrives in Istanbul

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A 540-year-old portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, known as Mehmed the Conqueror, purchased by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, arrived in Istanbul from London on the night of Aug. 20.

The customs procedure of the painting started on Aug. 21 after its arrival.

The unsigned original portrait of Mehmet II, which was a part of the auction house’s Islamic and Indian Art collection, was put up for auction by the world-famous Christie’s Auction House in London on June 25.

The painting was purchased for 7.9 million Turkish Liras on the order of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu at the auction. The painting, which is one of the three original portraits of Mehmet II, made in his time and survived to the present day, was ready to be brought to its home in Istanbul.

Mahir Polat, the head of the municipality’s Cultural Heritage Department, went to London on Aug. 8 with his delegation. The artwork, which came out of the Venetian painter Bellini’s workshop, was examined by Polat and his accompanying experts. The delegation returned to Turkey on Aug. 12.

The portrait was delivered to a cargo company by the auction house on Aug. 20 for Istanbul. After the completion of the procedures, the famous work will be open soon for Istanbul residents to witness its glory.

Firstly, the painting will be kept in a special storage area on the ground floor of the municipality’s Saraçhane campus, where the necessary conditions for the preservation of a Renaissance-era period have been provided. After the completion of the process, the painting will be shared with the public.

Due to the pandemic measures, the painting will be open for the public to see by the end of September or the beginning of October. After this, the portrait will have its permanent home in a museum which will have its own road map determined by experts.

Hurriyet Daily New

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