In the past fifteen years, the fatal accident of 1956 in the Marcinelle mine has played a key role in the development of the public history and memories of Italian migrations. Promoted by the Italian government, the anniversary of August 8 became a national "patriotic" commemoration. The old mine became a memorial dedicated to Italian immigration in Belgium, to national manufacturing history and to occupational safety issues. Both the memorial and the hall specifically devoted to the tragedy of August 8 face the complexity and the contradictions of the related collective memories, affected by mass media representations, political activism and more in general the relationship between past and present.
Keywords: Italian migration history, memory, mass media, public history, public use of history