Police became suspicious when two men were seen unloading paintings from the back of the van, reported Le Parisien newspaper on Friday.
Works include paintings by French painters Raoul Dufy and Roger-Edgar Gillet.
The van was sitting outside a police station in the north Paris suburb of Saint-Ouen.
Once apprehended, the men declared themselves to be an artist and a second-hand goods dealer.
They also claimed to have painted some of the works themselves, in the style of the originals, and bought the others at markets.
A search of the homes of one of the men on Monday uncovered a further twenty valuable paintings and sculptures.
The newspaper reported that some of the art works date back to robberies from over ten years ago.