People flocked to see the HSBC's bronze lions Friday and Thursday. They have been months in restoration after being set on fire by protesters in retaliation for the bank closing activists' accounts in January.

Black burn marks continue to decorate the lions' manes and "further restoration work will continue," the bank said in a Twitter post Thursday.

The two lions were splashed with red paint and doused in oil before going up in flames as the city's pro-democracy movement directed its ire at a bank they saw as siding with the CCP.

For the past 10 months, visitors to the HSBC building in Hong Kong's central district have been welcomed by white wooden boxes in their place.

But Thursday, HSBC deputy chairperson Peter Wong and the bank's Hong Kong CEO Diana Cesar unveiled the restored statues in all their bronze glory.

"Through good times and bad, they have been an enduring part of Hong Kong's story," Wong said. "Many customers, employees and the general public told us how much they missed the lions so we decided to put them back on display following the first phase of restoration."

The pandemic has prevented specialists from seeing the lions, leaving the restoration project unfinished for the time being until global travel resumes.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to conserve the bronze lions, which form part of the bank's and Hong Kong's history," an HSBC representative said in January.

The felines, nicknamed Stephen and Stitt after regional bank managers in the 1930s, were commissioned by HSBC in 1935 to adorn the bank's headquarters in Hong Kong. They are prized for their excellent feng shui and have been known to offer good luck to passersby who rub their noses.

The pair have been taken out of the public eye only twice before - once during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War Two and again in the 1980s while the bank's new headquarters were under construction.

Now, remains of red and black paint from the 2020 protests have been added to the collection of scars - including bullet holes from the war - that stand testament to the statues' colorful history.