- The Washington Times - Monday, February 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The J. Paul Getty Trust, already tarnished by questions about its financial dealings and charges a former official dealt in looted art, now has another problem: The $3.5 million house it bought for its new museum director is contaminated with mold.

The trust owns a house next to the J. Paul Getty Museum — four bedrooms with a view of the Pacific — but it was determined to be too small. Last week, the trust backed out of a deal for a $5.5 million house because of structural problems.

In the meantime, the Getty is paying $15,000 a month to rent a house for Michael Brand and his family.

The house next to the museum near Malibu was purchased five years ago for $2.6 million. Mr. Brand looked at it, but Getty officials said it was too small to hold museum-related events.

The trust then bought the $3.5 million house near the University of California at Los Angeles in October. However, a damp spot was discovered, and inspectors opened up walls and found extensive mold in the 70-year-old, home.

The debacle is the latest image problem for the $7 billion trust.

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