I wonder if guests at Foster and Partners' splendid exhibition launch at the British Museum last week had come across Hilton Kramer's article in the June edition of The New Criterion .
Kramer, veteran American art critic, had reluctantly crossed the pond to inspect Tate Modern and called in at the Great Court first. 'I was appalled by the new, horribly overscaled entrance to the BM, ' he fumes, 'which now encloses the museum's legendary Reading Room in a faceless structure of monstrous height and girth. No matter how well we may be acquainted with the many examples of execrable museum architecture in our time, atrocities of this magnitude have not lost their power to shock.' Poor Hilton - things didn't look up when he eventually made it to the Tate.
'I had only just entered this behemoth, but it was already enough to make one experience a profound sense of loss - a loss not only of beauty and amenity, but of civilisation itself.'