Medallion with Sultan Mehmet II’s portrait to return to country

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has purchased a medallion depicting portraits of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, known as Mehmet the Conqueror, for 38,000 pounds at an auction in London, the U.K.

The obverse of the coin with a diameter of 11 centimeters, which was cast in Naples in Italy, contains the inscription "Sultan Muhammad, the Byzantine Emperor, a descendant of Osman" along with the portrait of Sultan Mehmet, which is believed to have been painted while he was alive.

On the reverse side, where the Sultan is seen on a horse, it is written "Muhammad, Emperor of Asia and Greece, Equestrian Portrait on a campaign."

"This precious medallion with the inscription 'Byzantine Emperor Muhammad,' whose only four copies exist in the world, is returning to its home," Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu stated, announcing the purchase at Christie's Auction House in London.

The Venetian artist Constanzo da Ferrara, who made the medallion in Naples in 1481, came to Istanbul after Sultan Mehmet invited a portrait painter from Italy.

In 1453, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, which was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, known as the Eastern Roman Empire at that time and from where the Byzantines ruled their empire for more than 1,000 years.

The conquest transformed the city, once the center of the Byzantine realm, into the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Apart from his achievements in politics, Sultan Mehmet II was deeply interested in the artistic and cultural developments across the world, especially Renaissance art.

Fatih Sultan Mehmed,

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