2010 could act as the fiftieth anniversary of 1960, seen as "anno dell’Africa", "Independence year", or - as in France officially stands - "cinquantenaire des Indépendances africaines". But memory of decolonization of European empires is challenged at a number of levels. African and Asiatic countries which gained independence not in 1960 seem not so interested in its anniversary; former colonial powers remain silent. France scheduled an official programme of celebrations, but its aims and scope looks politically not only functional but exploitative. By and large, memory of a great revolution in international politics as decolonization was finds today a few supporters. Political actors who could have been interested in doing it have now disappeared. On the contrary historians are at work: but their studies look sectorized, without political fall-out, banned from public history. All this makes difficult that public opinion debate the matter, and it does not help retributing and compensating policies for the colonial past, as the former colonies ask more and more frequently. The Italian case of the Italo-Libyan Friendship Treaty of August 2009 looks exemplary.
Keywords: Decolonizzazione, Imperi coloniani, Storia pubblica, Colonialismo italiano