Tate director Nicholas Serota has launched a high-profile offensive to undermine Philip Gumuchdjian's plans for a 20storey tower on a neighbouring site to Tate Modern.
The Tate opened the next round of the fight against the controversial building, with a public demonstration on Tuesday. It now looks likely to lodge a judicial review in the High Court, after a planning inspector overturned Southwark council's refusal and approved the scheme in May.
Serota, who has thrown his weight behind the campaign, was joined at the protest by about 60 local residents from BROAD (Bankside Residents for Appropriate Development).
Objectors to the scheme believe a very tall building so close to Tate Modern's main entrance 'will inevitably diminish the quality of the space and affect the enjoyment of millions of visitors'.
Speaking at the demonstration, Serota condemned the planning inspector's conclusions as 'absurd', declaring the permission 'a gamble at public expense'.
And Teresa Towle from BROAD said the development was 'an opportunistic attempt to cash in on Tate Modern. Local democracy has been overturned.'
Towle said Tuesday's demonstration aimed 'to make sure everyone is aware that this is not the end of the story', and she added that any legal action would be a combined effort, jointly funded by BROAD and the Tate.
And resident Peter SeltonWilliams said: 'It's wrong on every ground. You wouldn't build it next to the Eiffel Tower, would you?'