Michael Brand is stepping down as director of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the end of the month, J. Paul Getty Trust CEO James N. Wood announced Thursday. He'll stay on as a consultant through summer and will reportedly be earning a salary through the end of his five-year contract at the close of 2010.

David Bomford, the museum's associate director for collections, has been tapped as interim director while the institution searches for a permanent replacement for Brand. It wasn't clear why he's stepping down: He told the Los Angeles Times that he didn't want to “get behind the reasons of my resignation.”

The museum credited Brand with getting it through one of its toughest controversies by helping to revolve claims by Italy and Greece that the Getty Museum had some of their most-prized works in its antiquities collection.

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