County officials visit shed that houses massive private African Art collection

Harris County Appraisal District officials are still attempting to determine ownership and potential tax consequences

It was last Wednesday Channel 2 Investigates exposed the massive collection of African Art stashed inside of a county maintenance under the control of County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. Six days after our first report aired, there is still no accounting as to how it got there or who owns it.

HOUSTON – Last week, KPRC 2 reported that a massive collection of African art was stashed inside a maintenance shed owned by Harris County and located in Harris County Precinct 1, under the control of Commissioner Rodney Ellis. County officials visited the shed Tuesday as they continue to try and figure out who owns the collection housed in a shed funded by Harris County taxpayers.

Officials from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office visited the shed to conduct fire and safety inspections of the building to ensure proper systems were in place, they told KPRC 2.

The Harris County Appraisal District was also on-site and told KPRC 2 that they were still unsure of the collection’s ownership. In fact, they said the office plans to not only determine ownership but also to bring in an expert to appraise the artwork as it may have serious tax implications.

A Prairie View A&M University professor told KPRC 2 he believes the artwork is priceless.

Commissioner Rodney Ellis said last week at a Commissioners Court meeting that he was going to work with the County Attorney to "to clean it up and then put it back on the agenda once it’s cleaned up.”

The Commissioners Court is expected to meet next Tuesday.

About the Author: