On Wednesday, police in Paris charged Jean-Luc Martinez with “complicity in organised fraud” and money laundering.
Two of Mr Martinez’s former colleagues in the museum’s antiquities department were also taken into custody but were released without charges.
French publication, Le Canard Enchaine claimed investigators were looking into allegations Mr Martinez overlooked false certificates of provenance.
The documents related to five Egyptian antiquities pieces worth millions of euros.
The case against Mr Louvre was opened in July 2018 after French investigators suspected artefacts had been pillaged during the arab Spring, and sold to museums around the world.
Mr Martinez stepped down last year as the Louvre’s president, a post he had held since 2013.
He currently serves as an ambassador for international cooperation in the field of heritage.
The Louvre’s current president, Laurence de Cars.