A Dutch Art Detective Just Recovered a Picasso Stolen 20 Years Ago

March 26, 2019, 6:47 PM UTC

A Dutch art detective was able to recover a Picasso painting that was stolen 20 years ago.

Detective Arthur Brand says he was able to obtain possession of the 1938 painting “Buste de Femme,” which was stolen off of a wealthy Saudi’s yacht in France in 1999. He had been tracking the painting for several years in Amsterdam, the Associated Press reports.

The painting has an estimated worth of 25 million euros ($28 million). Brand passed the painting on to an insurance company. The company’s plans for the painting were not immediately known.

The painting had reportedly been used as currency in the criminal underworld of Amsterdam to pay for drug and arms deals. The person who was in possession of the painting reportedly decided to turn it in and reached out to Brand to do so.

Brand says he was able to validate the painting was the original Picasso thanks to its back. While art forgers can typically reproduce a painting, they often do not know what the back of the canvas is supposed to look like.

Over the years several forgeries of the painting were offered to insurers and then rejected. Dutch police have made no arrests in conjunction with the painting’s theft or recovery.