The historical fabrics of old and ancient cities and towns are to be considered as their assets; thus if studied, preserved, protected and presented properly, their corporeal and spiritual values will constantly be improved. Therefore, they play a determining role in promotion of cultural exchanges between different peoples and act as a national resource contributing to sustainable development of the city and in a wider concept to the mother land to which their belong. Population growth in different countries of the world during 20th and 21st centuries, global industrialization, drastic changes in world climate and development of tourism are major conservation challenges facing historical properties. That is why sustainable conservation/preservation of these cultural assets along with rational and pre-planned management of historical places could be the key to the problem. In fact, it is culture and cultural interactions that enable sustainability of the old cities.
The Historical Port of Kong is an exceptional city in Iran with its historical urban fabric still intact. It is actually a living historic city. Proud of their past and its vestiges the inhabitants of Kong communally try very hard to preserve and protect their heritage. They have their own special customs and traditions, music, foods, clothes, tales and narratives, and behaviors, practicing them over and over again. Thus, Kong Port could be regarded as an outstanding historical city in Iran, the region and the world as it offers a mixture of living tangible and intangible heritage and mesmerizing nature, retaining all historical cultural values in one place.
However, taking good care of this historic city requires twofold endeavor just as sustainable conservation/protection of all historical cities in the world entails amplified multifaceted undertakings. The First international Workshop on the Management of Coastal Urban Historic Fabrics in Historic Port of Kong is to be organized for the very same reason. The aim is to gather the experts of this field from different countries for a week in Kong, so that they can discuss various conservation challenges faced by these cities and observe practically and in situ the potentials and problems that such culturally rich places possess and meet. Conclusively, it may pave the way for further collective activities in future to tackle these challenges.
Holding of this event has now twice been postponed. First for the required infrastructures in Kong not having been readied on-time, and second because of untimely and sudden emergence of a gruesome enemy called coronavirus, or COVID-19 disease. Now the whole world is involved with this horrendous pandemic. During this current disaster it is necessary to address two subjects simultaneously, the health and well-being of the people as well as the well-being and preservation of the museum collections, old towns, historical buildings and sites. The world of cultural heritage has just begun to understand that apart from those routine deterioration agents, a specific place should also be allocated for pandemics such as Corona in the risk management of cultural heritage. The current deadly consequence of this pandemic clearly show that in planning long-term programs for both the well-being of our fellow citizens and care of cultural properties we have no other way than paying special attention to this kind of natural disasters too. This virus is not only dangerous on its own and thus must be contained but its companion with other agents of destruction in historic places is another predicament. It is thus necessary that all destroying aspects of this damaging factor be put into multifaceted studies and consequently, as of other damaging and destructive agents, determine the remedial methods before, during, and after its attack.
We all have high hope for this virus to be contained as soon as possible letting the world to return to a kind of pre-corona normalcy. In that case we shall use the first occasion possible to organize the workshop in Kong, so that the beautiful and enchanting city of Kong could once again be prepared to welcome all the Iranian and foreign experts and scholars.