Arthur Brand recovered the Portrait of Dora Maar, worth 25 million euros, which was taken from a Saudi sheikh's yacht on the French Riviera in 1999.
Also known as Buste de Femme (Dora Maar), the rare masterpiece was reportedly circulated in the Dutch criminal underworld for years after it was stolen.
The discovery ended a four-year investigation into the burglary on the luxury yacht Coral Island, which was anchored in Antibes.
Brand said he handed back the 1938 artwork, which was feared lost forever, to an insurance company earlier this month – after two intermediaries showed up at his Amsterdam home with the missing portrait wrapped in a sheet and garbage bags.
Dora Maar was one of Picasso's one of most influential mistresses, and her portrait hung in his home until his death in 1973.