In the nineteenth century, meat production underwent radical changes, turning into a mass-scale and industrial process that was based on the new norms of hygiene and veterinary medicine. Anthropologists and cultural historians have pointed out that, in a western European context, this also entailed the marginalization of the slaughterhouses, which were excluded from urban life and made anonymous and invisible. This article examines the case of the Moscow public abattoir (1886–88) and argues that, instead of being marginalized, it emerged as one of the city's landmarks due to its important symbolic role in the Russian discussions on modernization and ‘Europeanness’.
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