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I would like to know if there is an explicit example of a finitely presented group that can not be realised as the (topological) fundamental group of a normal complex quasi-projective variety?

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Yes, sure. Take any polycyclic group which is not virtually nilpotent (e.g. upper triangular matrices with entries in $GL_n(\mathbb{Z})$, $n\ge 2$). This cannot be the fundamental group of a normal quasiprojective variety by a theorem of Nori and myself [Solvable fundamental groups of algebraic varieties..., Composito 1999]. There are many other sorts of examples.

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Dear Donu, thank you very much for this quick answer! –  aglearner Jun 13 '13 at 15:28

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